Chat about tonight's Brooklyn Nets-Toronto Raptors game here.
The Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets play the Toronto Raptors tonight. Here's what you need to know:
TV: The game is being simulcast on the YES Network and NBATV. Ryan Ruocco and Jim Spanarkel are tonight's commentators.
Starters: The Brooklyn Nets will start what I'm hoping I can call their standard five for a long time: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez. The Raptors are expected to counter with Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Andrea Bargnani, and Jonas Valanciunas.
Key reserves: The Brooklyn Nets will likely trot out a second unit of C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic, and Andray Blatche, anchored by starting shooting guard Joe Johnson playing small forward. The Raptors are expected to play power forward Ed Davis, point guard Jose Calderon, and center Amir Johnson quality minutes.
Doppelgangers: Reggie Evans vs. Quincy Acy.
Injury Report: The Brooklyn Nets are without Josh Childress tonight, and Keith Bogans will be limited. The Raptors are at full strength.
Season standings: This is the Brooklyn Nets' first game of the season, giving them the dubious distinction of being the last team to play their first game both in preseason and in the NBA. The Raptors are 0-1, after falling to the Indiana Pacers 90-88 on Halloween.
In the building: Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is on hand tonight, along with ex-Brooklyn Dodgers stars Ralph Branca and Joe Pignatano. For the first game in Barclays Center history, more are sure to arrive.
The Brooklyn Nets will win if... they pick-and-roll the Raptors weak defense to death with Deron Williams and whoever Deron Williams feels like making into a roll toy, space the floor around their shooters, and post up Joe Johnson & Brook Lopez on bad mismatches. Defensively, they have to stay on their string and limit the Raptors to one opportunity.
The Brooklyn Nets will lose if... they rely too much on isolations, long two-point shots, and allow offensive rebounds. The Raptors scored 11 quick points on 9 putbacks (including 1/2 free throw shooting on a foul) and grabbed 29% of all offensive rebounds available against the Pacers (a high team number). Deron Williams is a solid post-up point guard, but if he relies on that on his starting matchup -- Kyle Lowry, a bull of a point guard -- the Nets may struggle.
In NBA 2K13: Nets win, 112-100. The Nets jumped out to a 34-21 first-quarter lead and never looked back, leading by double digits for most of the game. The Nets never trailed, shot 8-13 from deep, and out rebounded Toronto 54-38 (including 15 offensive rebounds). All five Nets starters scored in double figures, Deron Williams leading the way with 28 and 8 assists on 10-23 shooting. Kris Humphries grabbed 15 rebounds (Lopez 8). Bargnani led the Raptors with 27. Nets 2K13 record: 1-0