The Raps, still smarting from that late game meltdown against the Pacers, travel to Brooklyn for their first visit to the Nets’ new home, the Barclays Center. Deron Williams, Brooklyn’s superb Point Guard, has to be happy with the speedy rebuild GM Billy King has performed. Joe Johnson, a former Hawk with a sweet outside stroke, has arrived as the Shooting Guard. Brook Lopez returns with a new contract. He’s the Nets version of Bargnani, a scoring Centre with crummy rebounding stats (19.2 PPG but only 3.6 RPG last year – an atrocious number for a huge man, & he doesn’t shoot 3s). Kris Humphries, the former Rap & Kardashian, has been a double-double man his last 2 seasons. His calling card is rebounding, & he’s excellent at it, using his bulk to carve out good position & his surprising quickness to corral the ball early. Gerald (Crash) Wallace didn’t have the start to his season he wanted against the Knicks, but I think he’ll be fine. He’s a relentless blur all over the floor. Rookie Guard Tyshawn Taylor did enjoy a memorable first NBA game, with 10 points against NYC, and could warrant some attention. Big Forward Andray Blatche is trying to salvage his career after being tossed overboard by Washington. His potential & his accomplishments have never been in sync; perhaps a change of scenery will be positive for him.
There’s more Raptors’ connections in Brooklyn than just The Hump. Reggie Evans is here [20 second timeout: I hope Quincy Acy gets to play against Reggie - The Bash Twins battling for boards would be a sight] . Ass’t Coach P.J. Carlesimo had a job in Toronto; another Ass’t, Popeye Jones, wore Raptor purple in the early days. Popeye’s son Seth will likely be in the NHL someday soon; he’s a highly ranked junior defenceman.
The Raps are once again in tough. I think Coach will be looking to attack. If Lopez can get in foul difficulty, the Nets interior defence will be vulnerable. Andrea needs to make some shots, as I don’t think they have anyone who can cover him. The Raps guards will have to defend extremely well against their Nets counterparts; both Williams & Johnson can go for 25+, & Williams is a dandy distributor who can take it to the hoop.
I’m calling another tight game – how about Raps pull out a 94-92 victory?
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.