A Brief History Of The Nets-Raptors Rivalry

A Brief History Of The Nets-Raptors Rivalry

The 2007 Playoffs

Morris Peterson looking away as Vince Carter chats him up. (AP)
Morris Peterson looking away as Vince Carter chats him up. (AP)

The 2007 Nets/Raptors opening round series between the Atlantic Division champion Raptors and sixth-seeded Nets is best known for two things: Vince Carter facing off against his former team, and the final Nets playoff series victory in New Jersey. It was a simpler time, when Kris Humphries was a 1.5 points per game player north of the border and not yet an ex-Kardashian.

The Nets opened up the series in Toronto to a chorus of boos and “VC SUCKS” chants. But it would be the Nets that had the last laugh that afternoon, as Richard Jefferson’s 28 points and Jason Kidd’s near-triple double (8 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists) stole home-court from the Raptors.

2007 NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell’s club responded in Game 2 to even the series and prove that yes, you could win an NBA playoff game with one of the Graham twins in the starting lineup.

The Nets would go up 3-1 with back-to-back easy wins in the swamp of 102-89 and 102-81, respectively, thanks to 37- and 27-point efforts from Vinsanity in the friendly confines of Continental Airlines Arena. Perhaps more impressive, then and future Nets center Jason Collins played over 20 minutes in Game 4, and only committed one personal foul, the last of three times he’d ever do that in the playoffs. The 21-point margin of victory is the second-largest in Nets playoff history, behind a 24-point rout of the Knicks in 2004.

With a chance to close out the series in Rob Ford land, the Nets fell behind by 20 points in the first quarter of Game 5. They would fight back, including 30 points from the much-maligned Carter, but it was not enough as the Raptors won 98-96 to earn one more trip to the good ole USA.

Richard Jefferson played the hero in the final ten seconds of game 6, putting the Nets up by 1 with a spinning layup into contact over Chris Bosh, then intercepting a pass from Jose Calderon to Bosh to seal the game.

Patriotic Nets fans chanted U-S-A in the tunnel from the arena to the parking lot at old Giants Stadium.

With the 2007 series in the rearview, let’s take a look at the 4 Nets-Raptors games from this season.