Listed below are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors‘ 109-108 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

One — It was tougher than it wanted to be, however the Raptors took care of enterprise towards the Nets for a second-straight evening. This was hardly a repeat of the 36-point thrashing in Brooklyn, as that lopsided outcome should have harm some emotions for a veteran Nets workforce that determined to carry their satisfaction instead of their absent begins. The straightforward baskets off sloppy turnovers disappeared, and the Raptors have been pressured to execute time and time once more down the ground. They practically misplaced the plot within the third quarter, however a powerful push on the finish clinched the win.

Two — The Raptors locked in on each ends to make the comeback. Offensively, Nick Nurse lastly discovered his greatest lineup with Pascal Siakam, Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes and Thaddeus Young. That group with Younger changing Khem Birch within the beginning lineup was capable of give the workforce 5 gamers that had the smarts to elude the zone, whereas additionally carrying the intent to attain. Siakam attacking within the publish is all the time a dependable choice since he attracts double groups and may overwhelm his personal defender in isolation. There was additionally the specter of Flynn flattening two threes together with two runners in visitors, Barnes hitting a turnaround jumper, Younger discovering the gaps to complete dunks, and the sheer confidence of Trent Jr. to create one thing even on an evening he shot 6-for-17. Trent Jr. was an ideal 8-for-8 within the fourth quarter from the road, together with two three-second violation calls, a drive previous Seth Curry to place the Raptors forward after Curry had tied it on a wild three, after which icing the sport after being deliberately fouled.

Three — Barnes’ depth modified the sport within the fourth quarter. The Raptors stored leaking oil in the midst of the sport, with Brooklyn developing with free balls and further efforts to maintain them forward, and the comeback would have by no means been doable with out an uptick in power. Barnes supplied that by taking a cost on Blake Griffin’s drive and getting tight to strain the ball which resulted in James Johnson being known as for a push-off. He then dove on the ground between two Nets to safe a free ball earlier than rapidly discovering the outlet whereas right down to spring the quick break. Barnes capped his evening with an emphatic block on Curry to protect a two-point lead with 30 seconds left. It is spectacular {that a} rookie was capable of present management on this means.

4 — Flynn was flawless in his 43 minutes. The Raptors badly wanted Flynn to provide playmaking on the second evening with Fred VanVleet sitting out, and Flynn was as much as the problem but once more. Much like the primary win over Brooklyn, Flynn opened his account with a midrange jumper coming off a excessive display screen that was open and in rhythm. It was the right means for him to ease into the sport, the place Flynn constantly received downhill to open up possibilities for others. Brooklyn has three guards who’re over 30 within the backcourt, and a lead-footed veteran in Aldridge defending the basket, and Flynn burned him as soon as once more with a slick in-and-out dribble on the hesitation earlier than attending to the cup.

5 — There is a stark distinction between Flynn’s polished sport in comparison with the remainder of the roster. The Raptors have monopolized 6-foot-9 forwards with playmaking talents in an try to redefine their workforce identification, and that ideological incongruency is among the explanation why Flynn’s possibilities had been so restricted, however the flip facet can also be true in that Flynn brings issues that others on the workforce do not. His quickness and tight deal with enable him to navigate tight areas in a means that playmaking forwards merely cannot on account of their measurement, and the reliability of Flynn’s playmaking supplied a way of calm to the offence. As Vivek Jacob of Raptors.com famous, Flynn has recorded simply two turnovers in his final 145 minutes performed throughout seven video games, together with only one tonight towards eight assists.

Six — Nurse properly selected to shut with Younger with the beginning group. There have been hiccups to make certain. Younger was late on a couple of rotations, misinterpret Barnes on a transition alternative when he flared to the nook relatively than reducing to the basket, and he shanked a point-blank layup, however he was in the proper spots and was going to ship ultimately. Younger nailed a 3 from the nook with out hesitation off a pleasant reverse go from Flynn, and he completed off two setups from Barnes on the basket together with a dunk off a daring look away feed that put the Raptors up 5 with below two minutes to go. Nurse ought to go to Younger extra typically within the beginning group within the absence of OG Anunoby, because it most intently mimics the position that Anunoby would sometimes serve in that group.

Seven — Siakam fouled out to cap a irritating sport. He was in the proper spots and confirmed good persistence and poise, however so a lot of his brief bunnies bounced out, which resulted in one other low-efficiency outing. However the larger concern was his power on the defensive finish. Siakam was all around the flooring within the first win over Brooklyn, recording three steals and three blocks within the first half, however that didn’t carry over. As an alternative, he was a beat late on a couple of performs and in the end had himself in a state of affairs the place he fouled out on an affordable name making an attempt to include a drive from Curry. Siakam is just too essential to the workforce to not be obtainable, nevertheless it’s not unusual for him to be in foul hassle.

Eight — Zone defences proceed to provide the Raptors issues. Brooklyn zoned the Raptors for 3 quarters with solely brief stints of switching again to their base protection, and it ruined any circulation that the Raptors needed to begin the sport. Beating the zone requires persistence and coordination, which the Raptors lacked at occasions, particularly within the second unit, permitting the Nets to climb again into the sport and take the lead. The Raptors do have the personnel to make good passes and cuts to use the gaps, as they confirmed within the fourth quarter, however one factor they can not assistance is the shortage of capturing. Regardless of the Nets sitting again in zone for many of the evening, the Raptors nonetheless solely tried 23 threes for seven makes. Most groups attempt to break zones by discovering the open shooter, however the Raptors outright draw back from that choice.

9 — Raptors followers relentlessly booed Goran Dragic every time he touched the ball. The total enviornment used the expired vet as a rallying level to thrill in pettiness. Nurse set the official report straight earlier than the sport, saying that the Raptors determined to maneuver in a youthful route which resulted in Dragic’s mutually agreed upon hiatus from the workforce, however that wasn’t the purpose. Earlier than he even set foot within the constructing, Dragic already dismissed the notion of enjoying for the Raptors by saying he had “increased ambitions” at this level in his profession, slinked again to Miami for the season whereas openly displaying off his ties to the Warmth by practising of their constructing. As if he wasn’t dumped for a a lot better participant, and ended up latching onto a Nets workforce that’s one sport over .500. And to assume some had a difficulty with Dragic listening to boos? What precisely did he do to earn every other sort of response?

Ten — The replace on Anunoby after seeing a specialist confirmed most of what the Raptors already knew. Anunoby can play in his present situation if wanted, however he also can sit one other two weeks to permit his fractured finger to totally heal. In any case, it is a aid that he will not be out for any prolonged time. On condition that Anunoby had been coping with this concern for months now, it will be clever to afford him the time to totally put this concern behind him.


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