• jacmanuell1

Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors 2020 Playoffs: Keys to Success



The Nets are severe underdogs in their upcoming playoff series against the Raptors. Caris LeVert can only carry this team so far. It’ll require more wizardry, mastery and creativity from Jacque Vaughn to help his team pull off one of the all-time great upsets in the postseason. Additionally the role players will need to continue stepping up and making plays on both ends when the time calls for it.


Cumulatively there are a number of key indicators that will be keys for Brooklyn finding success against their Atlantic Division rival. 


3-Point Shooting


This season Toronto have given up the most threes in the league, including the most corner threes in league history. Conversely, Brooklyn have averaged over 40 three-point attempts per contest in Orlando. The Raptors players are so good at giving away the right threes to the right players. The Nets roster will have to capitalise on their opportunities and make them pay. 



You replace Markieff Morris there with someone like Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (who has shot an unconscious 45.1% from the perimeter on six attempts per game in Orlando) and you force Toronto to make defensive adjustments. 


Offensive Rebounding


Nick Nurse doesn’t emphasise offensive rebounding for his team. They rank 24th in the league for offensive rebounding percentage on the season. That’s where Jarrett Allen comes in. 



He’s been attacking the ball on the offensive glass with the ferocity and intelligence of building a new computer. Of players who have played 25 minutes per game or more this season the young big man ranks eighth in offensive rebounding percentage. Extra possessions will be invaluable against a team with superior depth and talent. 


Transition Defense and Limiting Turnovers


The Raptors are the league’s third most efficient team in transition. Players like Pascal Siakam thrive by getting in the open court, and the team overall is elite at creating offense from defense. 


Mishaps like this from Caris LeVert just won’t cut it. 



Portland punished the risky pass and Toronto will do the same. They rack up 19.5 points per game off opponent turnovers, good enough for second in the league. Thankfully in the seeding games Brooklyn have taken care of the ball incredibly well. The Nets rank fourth in turnover percentage in the duration of the Orlando bubble games. If they can continue that trend against an elite defense like the Raptors it’ll help them maintain the game on their terms. 


Ball Movement


Teams that have inferior talent can make up for it in numerous ways: chemistry, three-point shooting, hustle plays and ball movement. For Brooklyn to play above themselves they’ll need to continue sharing the ball as they have over the last eight games. 


The Nets have been the league’s best team at creating offense through ball movement. Over 73 points per game can be attributed to assists. 



This possession is emblematic of that. Four of the five players on the court touch the ball before the three point is executed. 


They also rank eighth in passes per contest. Ball movement is contagious and creates on-court chemistry that iso play just doesn’t. As the saying goes, it’s much harder to guard a moving ball, unless you’re James Harden (or Caris LeVert).