Raptors Settle In For First Road Playoff Games

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In their first road practice of the postseason, the Toronto Raptors got comfortable at Barclays Center.

After evening the series, the team is prepared to face a fired up Brooklyn Nets home crowd in Game 3 on Friday night.

“We’ve got to expect that it’s [going to be] a hostile crowd, as it should be,” DeMar DeRozan said. “It’s on their home floor. It’s like that when we play at home too. We understand that.”

Another thing the Raptors understand is how crucial it is that they continue to outrebound the Nets. With a 52-30 edge on the boards in a 100-95 Game 2 victory, they know they can’t let up in Brooklyn.

“They’re starting undersized with Paul [Pierce] at the four so we’re going at the boards every time,” Amir Johnson said. “That and just 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 [Johnson]. Everybody was playing with aggression and energy and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Fields The X-Factor

When the Nets swingman found his rhythm in the third quarter on Tuesday night, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey made one of his biggest moves of the series, inserting Landry Fields into the game to try to slow him.

Fields hadn’t played in Game 1, but he was ready to go when his coach called on him. Greivis Vasquez called him the X-factor after the victory.

“I was a fresh body so I had a lot of energy and it was definitely a focus,” Fields said. “I knew that going in. I had all of my energy with me. It was really more so just trying to make it as difficult as possible, giving him a different look, try to be a pest out there.”

DeRozan wasn’t surprised to see Fields step in — and up — without skipping a beat.

“That’s what Landry does,” DeRozan said. “He’s a great defender. He’s a big body, strong. If Landry played every single game, he’d go out and play the same way, in my opinion.”

Trying to contain Joe Johnson isn’t an enviable task, but Fields saw it as an opportunity to relieve DeRozan of the challenge.

“We can’t expect DeMar to go out there and score 30 and then guard one of their best players and expect him to be as effective,” Fields said.

Knowing that Johnson will be looking to prove he can score on whoever is guarding him in Game 3, in front of his home fans, the game plan is simple: make him work for whatever look he gets.

“He’s a triple threat,” Fields said. “He’s one of the best offensive players in this league. He can drive, shoot and find open guys. Really it’s just about going out there and trying to make it as difficult as possible.”

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