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Nets vs. Raptors: Brooklyn and Toronto NBA Playoffs Matchup Breakdown

it's the third postseason meeting between the Nets and Raptors

The Brooklyn Nets are making their second straight playoff appearance, and fifth in the last eight seasons since moving to Brooklyn. They’ll be taking on an Atlantic Division rival in the Toronto Raptors, with the defending NBA champions securing the Eastern Conference’s second seed and the Nets seeded seventh. This is the third postseason matchup between the two teams, with the Nets winning both previous matchups as the lower seed.

SERIES SCHEDULE

  • Game 1: Monday, Aug. 17 at 4:00PM on YES/ESPN
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 1:30PM on YES/NBATV
  • Game 3: Friday, Aug. 21 at 1:30PM on YES/NBATV
  • Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 23 at 6:30PM on YES/TNT
  • Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 25 at TBD on TBD*
  • Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 27 at TBD on ESPN*
  • Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 29 at TBD on TNT*
  • *if necessary

SEASON SERIES

The Raptors won three out of four against the Nets this season, with the third win by a point in Toronto on Feb. 8. Four days later, the Nets snapped the Raptors’ 15-game winning streak in the final game before the All-Star break.

Raptors 110, Nets 102
Dec. 14 at Toronto

Down by 16 in the first half after the Raptors made nine of their first 10 3-pointers, the Nets cut the deficit to four late in the third quarter before Toronto pulled away. While this wasn’t Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot’s first game for the Nets — he had two short-minute appearances in Brooklyn’s first 24 games — it was his first significant playing time and he remained a rotation regular after scoring seven points in 17 minutes.

Raptors 121, Nets 102
Jan. 4 at Brooklyn

The Nets got Caris LeVert back for this one, and he scored 13 points in his first game since mid-November. But after the Nets led at halftime and were within a basket early in the fourth quarter, the Raptors again pulled away for the win.

Raptors 119, Nets 118
Feb. 8 at Toronto

Down by as many as 18 points, the Nets tied the game at 118 in the final minute after a 13-5 run, with Caris LeVert getting Brooklyn even with the last of his then-career-high 37 points. But the Raptors pulled out the win as Pascal Siakam made 1-of-2 from the line with 22.9 seconds remaining.

Nets 101, Raptors 91
Feb. 12 at Brooklyn

Brooklyn won for the seventh time in 10 games while snapping Toronto’s 15-game win streak behind 20 points and seven rebounds from Caris LeVert, holding the Raptors to 37.8 percent shooting.

NUMBERS GAME

A quick glance at some key numbers for each team:

The Raptors are fourth in the NBA in net rating (6.1), but that’s powered largely by their No. 2 defense and its 104.7 rating. Toronto forces turnovers, 16.8 per game, second in the league, and is also second in steals per game (8.8) and points off turnovers (19.5). The Raptors are also first in fast break points (18.8). Toronto gets 36.8 percent of its points off 3-pointers, the third-highest rate in the league, ranking third in 3-pointers made (13.8), fifth in 3-point percentage (37.4) and sixth in 3-point attempts (37.0). The 3-point emphasis helps give the Raptors the league’s eighth-highest effective field goal percentage (53.6).

The Nets are 10th in defensive rating (109.2) and fifth in opponent field goal percentage (44.6). The Nets are second in total rebounds per game (47.9) but ninth in rebound percentage. Between Brooklyn playing the league’s 10th fastest pace (101.70), the low shooting percentage it holds opponents to and its own 24th-ranked field goal percentage (44.8), there are a lot of rebounds available in Nets games. Brooklyn is 10th in field goal attempts per game (90.3), fifth in 3-point attempts (38.1), ninth in 3-pointers made (13.1) and 26th in 3-point percentage (34.3). The Nets are ninth in free throw attempts (24.1), 15th in free throws made (17.9), and 25th in free throw percentage (74.5). Brooklyn is also sixth in points in the paint (49.6) and eighth in second chance points (13.6).

IN THE BUBBLE

So, all the numbers above encompass the entire 2019-20 NBA season. Of course, that includes a four-and-a-half-month break between games and, for the Nets at least, some major personnel changes between their first 64 games and their last eight. So what’s been going on since everybody got to Orlando?

The Raptors have won seven of eight games on the NBA campus, and now have the league’s second-best record (53-19). Defense still dominates for Toronto, which has risen to first in Orlando with a 102.7 rating, better than its full season rate. Offensively, though, the Raptors were 18th among the 22 teams with a 106.9 offensive rating, down from 111.3 through March 11 and their first 64 games. But they still shot 39.1 percent from 3-point range, higher than their full season mark, with an effective field goal percentage of 53.8, consistent with their full season rate. Pascal Siakam, averaging 22.9 points on 45.3 percent shooting for the full season, is averaging 16.9 on 39.4 percent shooting in Orlando.

The Nets have reinvented themselves in Orlando with five new players, and their offensive rating over the last eight games is up to 116.2, seventh among all teams on the NBA Campus, compared to 107.8 through March 11. Their effective field goal percentage is 55.6 in Orlando, 51.5 through their first 64 games. They also have the NBA’s fifth-highest assist percentage (63.4) and they are fourth in assist/turnover ratio (2.09). Caris LeVert is averaging 25.0 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game, and Joe Harris is averaging 20.0 points on 62.0 percent shooting, including 54.1 percent from 3-point range. Jarrett Allen is averaging a double-double (15.7 points, 11.0 rebounds) and shooting 67.3 percent.)

PREVIOUSLY IN THE PLAYOFFS

Both of the previous playoff matchups between the Nets and Raptors, in 2007 and 2014, featured the sixth-seeded Nets against the third-seeded Raptors, with the Nets winning both matchups.

Here’s a quick look back at those Nets wins:

2014

After winning the opener, the Nets dropped three out of four to fall behind in the series, 3-2. With a must-win Game 6 at Barclays Center, they jumped out to a 34-19 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 97-83 win. It was back to Toronto for the decisive Game 7, which hung in the balance until the final buzzer. Marcus Thornton fueled Brooklyn’s 61-53 halftime lead with 14 second-quarter points. A late Toronto run brought the Raptors within a point with 17 seconds to go. Paul Pierce’s block of Kyle Lowry on the final possession sealed a 104-103 victory for the first playoff series win of the Brooklyn era. Joe Johnson scored 26 points while playing 45 minutes in the win.

2007

After winning four division titles in five seasons, the Nets battled through injuries before winning 10 of their final 13 games, and then jumping out to a 3-1 series lead on the Raptors. Toronto survived in Game 5 and sent the series back to New Jersey. In Game 6, the Raptors rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to take a lead on a Chris Bosh jumper in the final minute, but Richard Jefferson put the Nets back on top and then came up with a steal at the other end to seal the 98-97 win. Jefferson had 24 points in the decisive win and Jason Kidd had 18 points and 15 assists in the final playoff series win of the Kidd era.

Catch the Brooklyn Nets this Season

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