The consensus following Game 2, from Raptors and Nets supporters alike, appeared to be that the Nets had their shot and missed it. The Raptors had as shaky a game as they are likely to have: Marc Gasol looked awful, OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka went a combined 0-for-7 on their outside shots, and the team was uncharacteristically bad at the free throw line. Meanwhile, asking Jarrett Allen to switch every screen paid off the Nets, and the majority of their role players hit their perimeter looks. But the Raptors’ defense smothered the crux of the Nets’ offense in Caris LeVert, and an increased reliance on Ibaka and smaller, centre-less lineups in the second half helped them pull away in light of Gasol’s struggles. Now, scrappy though the Nets may be, they might struggle to put up a fight from here on out.
Part of that is due to factors outside of the Nets’ control. Joe Harris, perhaps the Nets’ second best player through the first two games of the series, has left the bubble to deal with an undisclosed personal matter. Harris has averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds through two games, shooting efficiently from the perimeter. Tyler Johnson, a last minute addition to the Nets’ roster in advance of the playoffs will draw the start in his stead. The Raptors had some misfortune of their own in between games, losing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to a knee injury which Hollis-Jefferson suffered fighting for a rebound in Game 2.
Now, you may have noticed a bunch of beat writers copying and pasting statements regarding racial justice into their articles and onto Twitter prior to Raptors’ games recently, and as much as I admire this gesture, I am not on their email list. Instead, I’ll urge you to watch a video that came out between Games 2 and 3 of this series of Raptors’ president Masai Ujiri being assaulted by a California police officer following the Raptors’ NBA championship win last year, and to consider what Nets’ guard Garrett Temple had to say about that video:
“The worst part is it wasn’t unexpected. It’s become the norm for people in my community. That’s one of the things we’re trying to get across. You expect police and law enforcement to do things right more times than the Black community. We expect them not to do things the right way.”
The legal team for Raptors executive Masai Ujiri has released body-cam footage of Ujiri’s encounter with a security worker at Oracle Arena after the Raptors defeated the Warriors to win the NBA Finals.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 19, 2020
Remember, ACAB. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet, 1:30 p.m. ET
Brooklyn — Joe Harris (left bubble for a non-medical matter) Jamal Crawford (hamstring – out), Kevin Durant (Achilles – out), Kyrie Irving (shoulder – out), DeAndre Jordan (opted out of bubble after testing positive in June), Wilson Chandler (opted out of bubble), Nicolas Claxton (out – shoulder), Spencer Dinwiddie (opted out), Taurean Prince (opted out of bubble after testing positive in July)