Although the Toronto Raptors lost Finals-MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency, this team is deep, talented and ready to compete for another title. They’re using this first round series as a tune-up, and are up 3-0 against an undermanned Brooklyn team. The thing that should scare the rest of the league the most is that this Raptors team hasn’t even played their best ball, and they’re dominating.
The Brooklyn Nets have been a great story. They went 5-3 in the bubble restart and looked like they may be able to make a little playoff push. Their one chance to make this series interesting was Game 2, in which they lost by five at the end. They’re down 0-3 and this was to be expected. Their plan is the future, namely next year when they have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant back and fully ready to produce.
The Toronto Raptors are looking to complete the sweepIn Game 1, the Raptors looked dominant. They never trailed in the game and looked every bit of a championship contender. In Game 2, the Nets pushed them to the brink, but they really showed me something in Game 3. In their 117-92 victory, the Raptors proved to me that they’re a real championship contender. It had nothing to do with the fact that they went up 3-0 in the series. They’re playing Brooklyn, a team they’re supposed to sweep. It was their response to a close call in their previous game. They came out focused, and dominated from start to finish. From the opening tip, this game was never in question.
Speaking of Game 3, the Raptors got perhaps their best good news this series. Pascal Siakam re-found his early-season form. The former Most-Improved player scored 26 points and secured 8 rebounds, and often looked like the best player on the court. When Toronto gets contributions from Siakam, they’re dangerous because they have one of the deepest rosters in the league. This team is a sleeper championship contender.
The Nets feel good story is almost overThis isn’t the season that Nets fans are looking forward to. That’s next year with the return of their sleeping giants. This season was officially considered a lost cause once half of their roster announced that they weren’t playing in the Orlando restart. It was unfortunate, but if we were being realistic, they weren’t winning anything anyway. It gave their young players, namely Caris LeVert, to make their mark.
LeVert did just that. He made the 2nd-Team All Bubble while averaging 25 points per game. His numbers have dropped in this series, but much of that can be attributed to the Raptors giving him extra defensive attention. LeVert has gained the respect of the league, and whether he’s in Brooklyn next year, or used as a trade asset for a star, the bubble has done his career well.
- Nets are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Nets are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog.
- Raptors are 2-1 in this series ATS