Apr 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche (0) has the ball knocked away by Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Nets beat the Raptors 94-87. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

More keys to Raptors’ Game 2 victory


Apr 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) goes to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Kummel has offered some essential thoughts about how the Toronto Raptors might bounce back from their discouraging defeat in Game One of the NBA playoffs. I’ll toss in a few more concerns that I’ll be keeping an eye on:

  • Amir Johnson’s production. If he’s still hampered by a wonky ankle, he needs to sit down. A power-forward-by-committee notion isn’t so bad, if Tyler Hansbrough can keep his fieriness in check, and Patrick Patterson makes his shots.
  • Terrence Ross attacking the basket. TRoss short-circuited coach Dwane Casey’s game plan by getting into early foul trouble. His absence hurt the Raps’ defense, and did our offense no favours either. Terrence has been a favourite target of DeMar DeRozan’s passes, particularly when DD is double-teamed. We need TRoss taking passes in stride, and getting into the paint. Hitting some 3-balls wouldn’t hurt either.
  • DeMar DeRozan containing Joe Johnson. We all know DD had a miserable game shooting on Saturday, but he didn’t provide much help in the paint either. Johnson was able to dribble unimpeded within a short distance time and again. If he’s going to make shots, at least force him to do so with a hand in his face.

Let’s get the playoff monkey off our backs, and beat these Nets before the series shifts to Brooklyn.

P.S.  If you’re near Section 108 tonight, drop by and say Hi.  I’ll be wearing my Valanciunas red top, and a Raptors cap.

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Toronto Raptors