Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors – Series Picks & Predictions

Series Odds:

Nets -175 / Raptors +145

Not since 2007 have the Toronto Raptors won a division title – until now.

Coming off their second Atlantic Division title in franchise history, winning a franchise record 48 games, the Raptors undoubtedly were the most well rounded team in a weak division. Led by Kyle Lowry, who will be matched up against Deron Williams, and DeMar DeRozan’s team high 22.7 points per game. These two have come from nowhere to form one of the best backcourts in the league.

Lowry was traded from the Rockets for Gary Forbes and a first round pick. DeRozan was considered a selfish player, who took dumb shots and was a major detriment to the team. But the two figured it out. Evident by Lowry’s career year, and DeRozan’s efficiency on the court and good behavior off the court, the Raptors core have the fans North of the border excited about the future of this team.

While many experts would say a major struggle for the Nets will be to keep up with the athleticism of Lowry and DeRozan, in my mind, that shouldn’t be an issue for elder statesmen of the Eastern Conference. If this series is going to be one based on playoff experience and NBA championships, then this series is already over. In my mind, the Raptors don’t stand a chance.

The Raptors’ entire roster has 156 games of playoff experience. By comparison, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have played in 267 playoff games combined. To go along with Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko and Shaun Livingston, who also have tons of playoff experience and have seem to put it all together in the second second half, experience in the NBA playoffs certainly goes a long way.

Owner Mikhail Prokhorov had a vision to bring these guys together with hopes of bringing a championship to Brooklyn. Under first year coach Jason Kidd, Kidd, a rookie head coach with the challenge of handling a $190 million roster, experienced a roller coaster of a season. Having to endure a five-game losing streak in November, followed up with four-game losing streak in December, this veteran crew were able to earn the sixth seed as a result of its turnaround in 2014.

Looking for their second playoff series victory in franchise history, it’s going to be difficult to defeat the Nets who have waited entire season to get to this point. For the Raptors, there is no denying their future is bright.  With an average age of 26.5, compared to 29.2 for the Nets, their championship window is just opening.

However, for players like Garnett and Pierce, who have already experienced championship success, the opportunity for another title is closing fast. Their quest for another championship begins with a victory in Game 1.

Raptors fans have waited a long time for a moment like this, but I just can’t see the more talented team losing this one. The crowd at the Air Canada Centre will provide an early spark for their home team, but in the end, the Nets, who are the ones with the playoff experience will also be the ones handling the playoff pressure.

Don’t only bet the Nets to advance to the second round. Bet them straight up in Game 1 too.  Both are going to be winners. 

Series Prediction: Nets in 6 (including a Game 1 victory)

April 18, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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