Game 37 Preview: Brooklyn Nets (15-21) at Toronto Raptors (17-17)

With Rudy Gay now in Sacramento, DeMar DeRozan is the go-to scorer for the upstart Raptors

When: 7:00 PM; Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Where: Air Canada Centre; Toronto, ON, CA

TV: YES Network

Much like the Nets, the Toronto Raptors started off the 2013-14 season poorly, and hit a low point in December when five-game losing streak put them at 6-12, and starting at a widening gap between them and the Eastern Conference playoff race.

So it's not surprising that two days after that 5th-straight loss–against the Phoenix Suns–Toronto made a blockbuster deal with the Sacramento Kings, shipping Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy, and Aaron Gray to the Kings for John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes. Gay was rumored for awhile to be on the outs in Toronto, as his albatross of a contract was seriously constricting the Raptors' financial situation.

Now, roughly a month after the trade, Gay is scoring over 20 points per game and shooting over 50 percent with Sacramento Kings while the Raptors have won 11 of their last 16 games to get to .500 and 1st place in the weak Atlantic Division, where they sit three games above your Brooklyn Nets.

Now, the best and 2nd-best team in the Atlantic face off for the second time this season–the first was a 102-100 win for Brooklyn–as the Nets look to stay unblemished in the new year and win a 6th game in a row, even without Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and possibly more players (due to their double overtime win against the Heat on Friday).

Probable Lineups

BKN- Shaun Livingston (PG), Alan Anderson (SG), Joe Johnson (SF), Paul Pierce (PF), Kevin Garnett (C)

TOR- Kyle Lowry (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Terrence Ross (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), Jonas Valanciunas (C)

Final Thoughts

The Raptors are young, healthy, athletic, and winning, while the Nets are only winning right now. Toronto has a lot of weapons at its disposal to use against a weary Nets team coming off a vey short night's sleep and an exhausting win the night before. Anything can happen in this one.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18