Nets are back in action tonight against the Raptors and after winning their first game of the season they have now lost six straight. Deron Williams and Kris Humphries return to the lineup tonight, but missing will be Damion James (foot) and Marshon Brooks is going to be a game-time decision (ankle).
Joining us today to hash out this game will be from Truehoop Network Raptor affiliate, Raptors Republic, Sam Holako.
1. How do the Nets prevent Toronto’s third win in a row?
- Justin DeFeo: Deron Williams and Kris Humphries returning to the lineup will help out the Nets on both sides of the ball, but really for the Nets to compete they’ll need to begin just playing better basketball. Running crisp offense and playing staunch defense could put the Nets in position to steal this game in Toronto.
- Danny Savitzky: Defense. Toronto has been a miserable defensive team, so if the Nets can limit their offense even their high-school production should be able to get them a win.
- Sam Holako: They can’t. The Nets don’t have to horses to consistently break down the Raptors new-found defensive intensity and rotations; especially with Deron hobbling…thought the Raptors were going to be bad this season.
2. Andrea Bargnani, Fluke or For Real?
- Justin DeFeo: For real. If there is one thing we’ve learned from him and Danilo Gallinari, its that tall Italian men can shoot. Lately, Bargnani has been showing more, however, and I believe the addition of Dwayne Casey as coach has had a lot to do with it. I doubt he sustains this output all year, but I believe he’s a better player.
- Danny Savitzky: Fluke. Bargnani has always had a knack for scoring, but before I anoint him anything more than a mid-level player, I want to see him eclipse the abysmal level of defense he plays.
- Sam Holako: For real. Bargnani is scoring more efficiently, making aggressive moves to the rack off the bounce and defending/rotating like a legitimate NBA player. He’s still not rebounding like a 7-footer should, but Dwayne Casey has only had the guy for a month. Unlike years past, you’d be hard pressed to find a detractor of his
3. Raptors-Nets, Who you got?
- Justin DeFeo: Raptors are the team playing the better basketball and are playing at home. I go with the Raps tonight.
- Danny Savitzky: Have to go with the Raptors. Can’t see the Nets having any success containing Bargnani and standout DeMar DeRozan.
- Sam Holako: The Raptors by 9 (we have a pre-game look here). Humphries and Williams are hobbling and I was hard pressed to name more than three guys on the roster aside from them (I do like Marshon Brooks though; kid is nice.). When are you guys getting Howard, anyways?
Site note: For immediate post-game reactions, visit Raptors Republic. We’ll have more thoughts and analysis from the game later tonight, or tomorrow.