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Raptors Crush Nets, 134-110 as Brooklyn Searches for Answers Defensively

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In game one, the Raptors showed their dominance and blew out the Nets, 134-110. For the Nets, Joe Harris scored 19 points on eight for fourteen shooting (3 for 5 from 3PT) and six rebounds. Jarrett Allen added fifteen points on six for ten shooting and twelve rebounds. Caris Levert was more inefficient than usual, but he still put up good numbers with fifteen points on five for fourteen shooting, seven rebounds, and fifteen assists. Caris Levert’s 15 assists place him second on the all-time Nets single playoff game assists leaders behind Jason Kidd with 19 assists.

Best and Worst Player of the Game

The big three had good games and displayed a substantial amount of effort. However, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot won the player of the game, in my opinion. TLC scored 26 points on nine for thirteen shooting (six for nine from 3PT) with seven rebounds. He was a vital part of the Nets run that cut the Raptors 33 point lead to nine. The player who significantly underperformed in the loss was Garrett Temple. Temple played 34 minutes and scored twelve points on five for fifteen shooting with four rebounds and one assist. The problem is that he went one for ten from 3PT. This stopped the Nets from getting momentum to overcome the Raptor’s 33 point lead. If he went five for ten from three, Brooklyn could have gained the edge over Toronto.

Main Issues for Brooklyn

One main issue that the Nets had in game one was their lack of perimeter defense. The Raptors shot 22 threes in 44 tries at an incredible conversion rate of 50%. The Raptor’s success from downtown is a direct result of the Nets’ failure to stay with the Raptor’s quick and talented guards. Fred VanVleet went 8-10 from three because the Nets could not fight over their screens and switch in time to recover to the shooter. The other main issue was that Brooklyn allowed Toronto to make 32 foul shots out of 33 attempts. Excessive fouling was something that the Nets were struggling with during the regular season restart games, and it is still a nagging problem for the inexperienced roster.

Adjustments to Defeat the Raptors

In the second game of this series, Jacque Vaughn needs to start TLC over Garrett Temple. When Joe Harris and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are both on the floor, it spaces the court for Allen and Levert to run the pick and roll. Also, Caris Levert should guard Fred VanVleet instead of Garrett Temple to try to reduce his number of open threes. Hopefully, the Nets can play better defense and win against the Raptors on Wednesday at 1:30 PM on NBATV.

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