Nets Final Preseason Game Will be Toughest Test Yet
As we’re now days away from the start of the regular season, the Nets have one more preseason bout, and it’s against the defending NBA Champions, the Toronto Raptors.
Despite the fact that starters will barely play in this last matchup of the preseason, this should be a good test for both squads to see each other’s style of play. Being in the same conference, they’ll go head-to-head four times like every other season, however things are a bit different since they last faced off in April.
The Raptors are now without one of the best players in the game in Kawhi Leonard, and the Nets are without All-Star D’Angelo Russell, who had a breakout season last year, as well as many key role players that helped lead the Nets to a 42-40 season as the 6 seed.
With different faces on each team things are going to look different on both sides of the ball. However, the different faces aren’t even the most exciting aspect of this matchup. It’s a few different things.
Firstly, a lot of these guys are going to be playing to earn a contract and minutes going into this season, therefore it’s bound to be a hard fought battle from wire to wire. Expect to see guys like C.J. Williams, Henry Ellenson and 2019 draft pick, Nicolas Claxton getting significant playing time for the Nets. Expect to see guys like Dewan Hernandez, Patrick McCaw and Oshae Brissett getting significant playing time for the Raptors.
Secondly, despite the Raptors coming into this game being 1-2 and the Nets being 3-0, both teams are putting up impressive numbers this preseason, ranking in the top half in multiple categories in the stat sheet.
Nets are averaging 114.0 PPG (10), 30.3 APG (1) and 10.7 SPG (7). The Raptors are averaging 112.0 PPG (12), 26.3 APG (10) and 14.0 SPG (1).
Thirdly, former Brooklyn Net, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be going against his former team for the first time since the Nets chose not to extend a $3.5 million qualifying offer to keep him.
Needless to say Hollis Jefferson may be playing with a chip on his shoulder for that reason alone, and to earn minutes on these new-look Raptors.