Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

Does anyone really care about this game? The Nets come one day closer to closing out this stint of misery and entering the offseason on a low note. They’ll play the Raptors at 6 PM eastern in the Air Canada Centre.

Here are a few keys to the game:

Missing Starters: Deron Williams and Kris Humphries are officially out for the season, Damion James is still out, and Anthony Morrow is questionable. If he can’t play, the Nets will once more take the floor with Brook Lopez as their lone starter. As a result, expect something on par with the Farmar-Vujacic-West-Gadzuric-Lopez garbage that has graced the floor these last few games.

The Battle of Inept Rebounding Centers? It’s not yet clear whether Andrea Bargnani will play in Sunday’s contest, as he did not take the floor Friday against Philadelphia. For the Raptors, that would be that, but for any other stakeholder, that’s probably a good thing. After all, fans won’t be subjected to two seven-footers who can’t grab a board — only one.

DeMar DeRozan, Offensive Explosion (Get it? It kind of rhymes.): Well, at least someone’s carrying the Raptors on offense while Bargnani has been out. DeRozan has been scoring at a torrid rate recently, averaging over 26 points a game over the past five contests. Without a doubt, the Nets wings will be helpless to contain him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go off for 30 today.

For more on the Raptors, check out their ESPN TrueHoop blog, Raptors Republic.