Alan Anderson, signed this summer by the Nets, returns to where he spent most of the last two seasons
When: 7:00 PM; Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Where: Air Canada Centre; Toronto, ON, Canada
TV: YES Network
The Nets' first Atlantic Divison matchup of the 2013-14 season probably couldn't come at a better time. Brooklyn faces off with the similarly-struggling Toronto Raptors this evening, north of the border, still without a glut of their important players.
Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Jason Terry (knee), and Andrei Kirilenko (back) are out for yet another game with their injuries as their team attempts to snap a season-long five-game losing streak. Shaun Livingston's (head contusion from Sunday's loss) status for tonight was in question for awhile, but he will in fact start at point guard in D-Will's absence.
The Atlantic Division, which includes both the Nets and Raptors, is the only one in the NBA that doesn't have a team with at least seven wins. Toronto, with a mediocre 6-7 record, is at the top of the Atlantic right now, which basically says it all. Actually, all five teams in the Southwest are 6-7 or better, clearly indicting the ineptitude of the division with the Nets, Raptors, Knicks, Celtics, and 76ers.
Unlike the Nets, though, the Raptors are winners of two straight, beating the 76ers and Wizards last Wednesday and Friday. Also, all five of Dwyane Casey's starters (Lowry, DeRozan, Gay, Johnson, and Valanciunas) have started all 13 of Toronto's games and are playing at least 27 minutes per game apiece. They haven't been great this season, but have been healthy and playing with the same guys night after night, which is something Jason Kidd and the Nets wish they could say.
BKN- Shaun Livingston (PG), Joe Johnson (SG), Paul Pierce (SF), Kevin Garnett (PF), Andray Blatche (C)
TOR- Kyle Lowry (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
The Raptors are a young, athletic, and flashy team that can score in bunches (note Lowry, DeRozan, and Gay), a fact that may pose a problem to the defensively-inept Nets. DeRozan, since he came into the league from USC, has destroyed the Nets in seemingly every Raptors-Nets meeting, as noted by the 36- and 25-point performances he dropped on Brooklyn last year alone. He's going to be a handful for the handicapped Nets in this one, and if they can't at least limit him on offense, a win isn't going to be easy to come by.