The Brooklyn Nets lost a game they should have won in Philadelphia Sunday night to the 76ers by a mere one point. Brooklyn looks to rebound and snag a divisional victory before Christmas time hits. This one will not be as easy as the Sixers should have been.
The Toronto Raptors have developed into a great team led by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Jonas Valanciunas is a big man that is sneaky good, too. DeRozan is one of the top points scorers in the league, which will surely cause Brooklyn all sorts of issues defensively. Kyle Lowry is a massive threat to score, too, but, Lowry is also quite efficient at finding open team mates as he averages nearly 7.5 assists per game.
Brook Lopez will not play in this game, which will make things all the more difficult, as Coach Atkinson wants him to get some rest. Jeremy Lin, as of now, is still not starting in this game either. Needless to say, this could get pretty ugly pretty quickly.
If Brooklyn wants to somehow steal this game from the Raptors, they will need their defense to be extraordinary. Brooklyn needs to keep Lowry and DeRozan from catching fire and seemingly making everything they take.
In order to score, Brooklyn will likely need to drive to the hoop and draw as many fouls as possible to stand a chance. With Lopez out, your largest scoring threat is not even active. Brooklyn will need to create shots through moving the basketball and taking the best shot, not the first one.
Many fans do not, nor should they, expect a win here. Unfortunately, if they do not, their next two chances to win are via a back-to-back against the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers and against the Cavs Finals opponents, the Golden State Warriors.
Here is to hoping Brooklyn can steal one from a Divisional foe before the holiday. If they do not, it will be a blue Christmas for the Nets and their fans as they will go in on a losing streak, and probably an ugly one at that.