The Toronto Raptors begin their title defense on Monday, August 17th, 2020 against the Brooklyn Nets. It should be a relatively smooth start to a hopefully deep playoff run and here are the three key factors to winning vs the Nets.
Finally, the 2020 NBA playoffs have arrived and the Toronto Raptors will face the Brooklyn Nets. Like last season, the Toronto Raptors begin the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoff bracket in a 2 vs 7 series, this time with the Brooklyn Nets and there are three keys to the Raptors winning this series.
Historically this is a dangerous series that should bring back nightmarish thoughts for the Toronto Raptors organization and their fanbase. However, this is not the Toronto Raptors of 2007 when they lost to the New Jersey Nets in a six-game first-round series or the Raptors of 2014 who lost to the Brooklyn Nets in seven games.
All-time, according to landofbasketball.com, the Toronto Raptors lead this regular-season series 56-41. In the last eight regular-season meetings between these two teams (dating back to last season), the Toronto Raptors are 6-2 with six of those games being decided by 10 points or less. This season, all four meetings between the two teams occurred before the bubble in Orlando.
The last two games were notable in that the Raptors pulled off a late one-point victory winning 119-118 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 over Brooklyn to extend a 13 game winning streak to 14 games. Then, the Raptors lost their franchise best15 game winning streak in a 101-91 loss five nights later to these same Brooklyn Nets.
While the previous two first-round playoff meetings between the Raptors and Nets conjure up bad memories for the Toronto side of things, the Raptors are now seven years into a run of consistent playoff contention having made it to two Eastern Conference Finals and winning the Larry O’Brien trophy last season.
The Raptors are the decided favorites in this series with or without the myriad number of roster deletions for the Nets (except Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who were not expected to play anyway). Here is a look at three keys to the Raptors winning the series vs the Nets: