Series: Tied 1-1
On the road for the first time this postseason, the Toronto Raptors are hoping to steal Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Friday night.
After tying the series with a 100-95 victory on Tuesday night, the Raptors want to continue to build upon the road success they had throughout the regular season. Setting a franchise record for road wins, the Raptors posted a 22-19 road record which tied them for most among Eastern Conference teams.
Prior to departing for Brooklyn, the Raptors talked about the comfort they’ve found playing away from home. Aware that they are likely to see a crowd that will be much more fired up than a regular season Nets game, the Raptors say they are confident that the jitters and nervousness from Game 1 are gone.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey made the decision to call on reserve Landry Fields to guard Joe Johnson in Game 2 after Johnson started to heat up. The move ended up being a turning point in the game. Fields stepped in and played big despite not appearing in Game 1 and this Raptors team had another reason to preach the 15-deep gospel they have been singing all season.
What to Watch:
Boards: The Raptors have killed the Nets on the boards the first two games of the series. In Game 2, Toronto out rebounded Brooklyn 52-30, including 19-11 on the offensive glass. As long as the Nets continue to go small with Paul Pierce at the four, the Raptors will continue to crash the boards and earn extra possessions.
Three-point shooting: In two games against the Raptors in Toronto, the Nets connected on just 11-for-48 attempts from beyond the arc. Expect that to change Friday night in Brooklyn. While the Raptors have done a good job of defending the three, playing at home should make the basket look a little wider on those three-point attempts for the Nets.
DeRozan attacking: Putting a rough Game 1 firmly behind him, DeRozan took over the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game in a big way. After getting whistled for his fifth foul and being taken out of the game, the fifth-year swingman took a moment to collect himself on the bench. It worked. Scoring a Raptors playoff-record 17 points in the fourth quarter, DeRozan shot 4-for-5 from the floor and 9-for-11 from the free throw line, including all six of his attempts from the line in the final 20 seconds.
– “You can feed off it. We’re professional athletes, we kind of feed off, playing well, doing something the opposing crowd doesn’t like. You go out there and have fun, playing basketball. Don’t feed into it too much.” – DeMar DeRozan on playing in front of what is expected to be a hostile environment in Brooklyn
– “Playing aggressive. Being the one to hit first. That’s how we have to play. It felt like Game 2 we were definitely the aggressors, we were the desperate team, we went after boards, we got into our man, we got stops and did a good job on Joe. Everybody was playing with aggression and energy and that’s what we’ve got to do.” – Amir Johnson on the team’s mindset going into Game 3
– “Every step of the way we believed. We all understand if the team does well, we all do well individually. That’s the attitude every single guy has. That’s why you see guys who haven’t played in awhile come in and play with high confidence. That’s the type of energy we feed to one another.” – DeMar DeRozan on the locker room buying in this season
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Nets: Brook Lopez – fractured right foot (out)
Last Time They Met: Raptors 100, Nets 95 – Apr. 22nd, 2013