Brooklyn Nets versus Toronto Raptors: Will the Nets pull off the upset to remain over .500?


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Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets look to stay above .500 as they take on the Toronto Raptors. Brooklyn is 29-28 for the season and 12-15 on the road, while the Raptors are 41-16 on the season and 22-5 at home. They have won seven of their last ten and are keeping pace with the Bucks for top record in the Eastern Conference.

Despite the big difference in overall record, the teams are relatively evenly statistically. The Raptors and Nets are 6th and 7th in scoring, respectively. Toronto is quite a bit better defensively, ranked 10th to the Nets 20th in points allowed. However, the Nets are fifth in fewest turnovers, while the Raptors are 15th. Both teams are solid in the rebounding department. Overall the statistical differences don't match the record difference. In terms of head-to-head, the teams have split the two games this season.

The Raptors are lead by Kawhi Leonard, averaging 26.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam continue to provide excellent complimentary pieces, averaging a combined 31.6 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. The addition of Marc Gasol will also help in the middle. He had a productive 19 minute run off the bench in his first game with the Raptors. Point guard Kyle Lowry distributes the ball at a rate of 9.2 assists per game, while Danny Green can hurt opponents from long range, knocking down 42 percent from beyond the arc.

Taking a look at the Nets, D'Angelo Russell leads the way at 19.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Caris LeVert has dropped 18 points per contest, while Spencer Dinwiddle completes a solid trio, averaging 17.2 per game.  In terms of long range threats, the biggest one for the Raptors to watch is Joe Harris, hitting at 45 percent.  Jarrett Allen leads the team in rebounding at 8.7 per game, while DeMarre Carroll adds 11 points per game.  

Overall, the biggest difference is the start power that the Raptors present with Leonard. The Nets can compete for some time with Toronto, but more often than not, the best talent takes over. That will be the case in this one. A close game will turn into an easy win as the Raptors will take this by double digits. 

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