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Created by Raya Lim

 

Nets Raptors Basketball

The Nets and Raptors start their playoff series Saturday in Toronto. (AP)

 

What had happened was: The Nets cast aside their usual uniforms and instead collectively donned a massive white flag in the final game of the regular season, which they lost 114-85 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game mercifully brought to an end a streak of uninspired, boring basketball the Nets largely played over the final two weeks.

The Nets made rest their first priority, as Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Garnett, Alan Anderson, and Mirza Teletovic sat this one out. Instead, the Nets fielded a vaunted five of Jorge Gutierrez, Marquis Teague, Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche, and Jason Collins. Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee made appearances of the bench, which was weird, because I wasn’t used to seeing NBA players on the court when they got in the game.

That was: A chore. No one wanted to watch the Nets’ collection of also-rans come out and skirmish with a non-playoff game when the team clearly didn’t give a damn, and this was in many senses not even an NBA game.

Where they stand: After a few days of jockeying, the dust has settled. The Nets will take the No. 6 seed and play the Toronto Raptors, who beat the New York Knicks Wednesday to cement their spot in the No. 3 seed, in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 will take place at the Air Canada Centre Saturday on ESPN. Time TBD. With the loss, the Nets locked a spot in Miami’s half of the Eastern Conference bracket, which means Brooklyn will play No. 2 Miami in the second round if the Nets advance and Miami takes care of business against No. 7 Charlotte.

This came amid much dismay that the Nets would have to play the Chicago Bulls in the first round once again. The No. 4 Bulls will instead play the No. 5 Washington Wizards.

The stats: Well, they weren’t great. Marcus Thornton led the Nets with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting — and shoot he did. The cuffs were off for Thornton, who is not shy about shooting in the first place. This was an exhibition in gunning.

Andray Blatche posted 20 points (8-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds and featured his usual collection of moves and hilarity. Andrei Kirilenko MADE A PAIR OF FREE THROWS and I don’t care about anything else he did.

Jason Collins was set free to fire, logging eight points on eight shots. The lumbering big man played 39 minutes, and you have to figure he’ll never play that many in an NBA game again.

Shot Chart Rorschach Test: A Christmas-themed square donut.
donut

Is Marquis Teague in the D-League yet? That’s a nope.

Game Grades: Read 'em here.

Was this wise? Maybe. Williams needed the rest. If Johnson needed it, he never would have told you so. Pierce has his shoulder thingy, and Garnett sweats a new ocean after each two-minute stint. There were reasons not to care, but there were also reasons to try and avoid Miami in the second round and stay in rhythm.

Also, I take a little more seriously Jason Kidd’s assertion that Garnett’s minutes load won’t increase in the playoffs given that he had absolutely no chance to increase it incrementally during the regular season. The Nets can probably only count on him for 22 minutes a game in the postseason.

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?

Shaun Livingston, not doin’ things: He didn’t play. That toe is really actin’ up.

Can you give me a comparison for the number of fast-break dunks the Nets gave up in the second half? Sure thing!

Across the river: The Knicks lost to the Toronto Raptors, putting to bed their miserable season and giving them 37 wins, matching the SCHOENE projection that Knicks fans were quick to call absurd before the season began.

Take that, Masai Ujiri.

Next up: The Nets start what they’ve been building toward since Jan. 1. Saturday they get to show that they really were built for the playoffs.

 

It was December 28, 2000. The Nets led the Boston Celtics 111-109, with less than two seconds left, and had the ball at half-court. "Luscious" Lucious Harris was the inbounder. The anti-hero? An NBA journeyman named Milt Palacio.

That was a certified Nets disaster, and it was nearly topped last night.

When you're the NBA’s hottest team, holding a lead and the ball with only 12 seconds left, you expect that team to win. So a loss in a situation like that stings. But not only did the Nets manage to lose that game, but lost significant ground in the Atlantic Division standings: a win would have brought them within 0.5 games of first place, instead of sitting 2.5 games back today.

How did it happen?

Every end-of-game situation boils down to a series of split-second decisions. Nail most of the decisions, and you'll come out on top. Bungle just a few of those decisions, maybe you can recover. But treat those decisions as you would 10-day old milk like the Nets did, and you’ll experience a gut-wrenching loss.

Let’s take a deeper look at how that end of game played out, taking it from 17.4 seconds left with the Nets leading 103-100 and the Raptors with the ball.
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Nets-Raptors: Open Thread

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross (AP)

The 20-22 Brooklyn Nets take on the 22-21 Toronto Raptors, who lead the Nets in the Atlantic Division by 1.5 games.

Starting Lineup: Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett.

Injury report: Everyone got through Monday night's 85-79 victory healthy. Guard Deron Williams will once again come off the bench.

When & Where: 7:30 P.M. EST, Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM

 

Andrea Bargnani, Johan Petro

A poster for futility. (AP)

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has talked openly and often about the Nets being a global brand, and he's stood by his word: today's game in London, England at the 02 Arena isn't their first foray out of the continent.

On March 4th and March 5th, 2011, the then-New Jersey Nets were in London for two games against the Toronto Raptors. Also, they were terrible that season: they went 24-58 and won just four games by double digits. But one of those double-digit victories games was in London!

The Nets actually swept the London bowl in 2011, winning 116-103 on March 4th and surviving a triple-overtime 137-136 victory on the 5th. Travis Outlaw hit some key free throws to save the Nets in the third overtime.

That last sentence should give you an idea of how bad the Nets were in 2011. Here's their full roster from the end of that season... MORE →

 

Joe Johnson, John Salmons

The Raptors held back Joe Johnson & the Nets all night. (AP)

Hello, people named Zachary and all people not named Zachary. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. Pick up a Fearza shirt, or a TBG iPhone case, over at The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us going.

Here's a roundup of last night's Nets festivities:
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Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry on the move? (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets are emerging as a potential landing destination for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

via Wojnarowski:
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Kevin Garnett; Tyler Hansbrough

Kevin Garnett & the Brooklyn Nets picked up a W in Toronto. (AP)

The journey back to .500 comes one game at a time, and the Nets took their first steps Tuesday night, barely surviving a late push by the Toronto Raptors and surviving with a 102-100 victory.

The advanced box score for your perusal.

Five final thoughts:
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Alan Anderson

Former Raptor Alan Anderson. (AP)

The 3-10 Brooklyn Nets are in Toronto taking on the 6-7 Toronto Raptors.

Starting Lineup: Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche.

Injury report: Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back), Jason Terry (knee) all out.

When & Where: 7 P.M. EST, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM