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March 4, 2011

NETS Ready for Raptors

Well, the Nets are ready for the Raptors.

They've had four days in between games, but they're finally back in action tonight against the Raptors at the O2 Arena. Deron Williams (sore wrist, bruised hand) will play "Definitely," he says and Jordan Farmar (sprained ankle) will be a gametime decision, revealed Avery Johnson. That's a big shift from the intial prognosis of his ankle injury, which was expected to keep him out of both games. Good thing they brought him along, innit?

(I'm getting bloody good at faking this British thing.)

Johnson expects the games to be well-contested, and knows getting off to a quick start will be crucial: not only because Toronto is great in transition and could feed off early errors, but also because the teams though the Nets are "home" for statistical purposes are playing on a neutral floor.

"I just think the team that plays the best defense and the team thats the most physical and attacks the basket, thats the team thats going to get the crowd," Johnson said. "I think the crowds going to swing with whomever is doing the best. Hopefully, itll be us. But again, weve got two teams here that are pretty evenly matched: were both in the same situation for a reason. Were going to have to play well and make some shots and hopefully limit some of what they like to do on offense."

They're particularly concerned with the aforementioned transition defense, center Andrea Bargnani (whom Johnson feels is much more dangerous playing this year's mid-range game rather than starting each possession outside the three-point line) and the bench energy of Leandro Barbosa, Jerryd Bayless and Ed Davis. Should be interesting to see how the Nets fare, especially since they seemed well-rested today, with a little extra pep in the step, if you will.

I'll check in with y'all postgame. But you can catch all our London coverage by visiting our NETS in the UK page. Cheers to the efforts of new Interactive Coordinator Jim Richardi, along with stalwart Demetris Sapp, for their help on the production end. That's a good look for us.

--Posted by Ben Couch at 2:20 p.m./9:20 a.m.

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