Nets vs Raptors Game 5 Pick

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

Game 5

Wednesday 7:35 pm EST

April 30, 2014

Line: Toronto Raptors -3.5

The playoff-experienced Brooklyn Nets looked like playoff rookies during the final 4:57 of Game 4.

During the most pressure-packed moments of playoff basketball, it was the young Toronto Raptors who looked just fine. Rather than showing their veteran poise, the Nets were the ones fizzling at the finish line. The Raptors now have the Nets exactly where they want them. For the Raptors to advance, they must solve a simple formula. Win the remaining homes games of this series, and a date in the next round awaits.

Playing in his first playoff series since 2008-2009, Kyle Lowry bounced back nicely after the Nets banged him around in their Game 3 victory, scoring 22 points despite playing with a banged up knee up that limited him in practice. Nevertheless, he scored 22 points, shot 7-for-17, and came up with big shots in the second half when the Nets finally had found a way to defend DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan scored only four of his 24 points in the second half.

The Raptors Game 3 loss showed us they can play, scrap, and fight till the end. However, after the Raptors victory in Game 4, aside from being a team that hasn’t played in games of this magnitude since 2007-08, these players have proven they belong in the playoffs.

While the Nets got away with their careless mistakes and foolish play in Game 3, they were not as fortunate in Game 4. This team was built with proven veterans who know how to make sure they can finish in a close game. Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams have proven they are all capable of making a play in the final seconds. They’ve done it before, and if needed, head coach Jason Kidd hopes they’ll do it again.

In Game 4, Paul Pierce scored 22 points while Kevin Garnett added 10, but Deron Williams and Joe Johnson combined for just 17 points for the game. Those numbers aren’t going to light up the stat sheet, but the Nets were still able to recover from an early 17-point deficit and tie it up heading into the fourth quarter. After making only three shots in the fourth quarter, they now find themselves scratching their heads going into a crucial Game 5.

As the higher seed, the Raptors found a way to even the series. They have been right there each and every game, finding ways to hang tough with the Nets. Toronto was impressive in Game 2, on the road in Game 3, and again late in Game 4. If the Raptors had made a few more plays earlier in the series, maybe they’d be up instead of deadlocked at two games apiece.

The Nets were 12 minutes away from taking a 3-1 series lead. Now having to play two of the series’ final three games at the Air Canada Centre, the Nets have struggled on the road going 16-25 away from the Barclays Center. The Raptors won the Atlantic Division, but I’m not ready to signal a changing of the guard just yet.

Toronto might’ve been the better team during the regular season, but they won’t be in the final two games of this series. Before the series began, I predicted the Nets would win in six games. Four games in, I’m sticking with it.

My Pick: Nets Moneyline

April 30, 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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