3/4/11

Raptors vs Nets Round 1 In London

From the home of the 2012 Olympics the O2 arena the Nets and the Raptors will make some NBA history. The first ever regular season game in Europe will go down. Raptors come in off a surprising win on Tuesday night vs the Hornets. Deron Williams recently acquired at the trade deadline is questionable for this game. He has been having an issue with his foot and also a banged up wrist. But as Williams said the Nets did not trade for him to watch him sit. He also said on the prospects of re-signing with the Nets he would play in North Dakota if the team was committed winning. Which given where he played before in Utah that makes sense and is believable. Raptors and Nets have been doing a number of events together and are even staying in the same hotel but today they get it on.

The Basics: Toronto 17-44 (5-24 on the Road) Nets 17-43 (0-9 in Atlantic Division)

When Last We Saw Them
: It was a retro performance by Jose Calderon that lead the Raptors to a surprising victory. He out played Chris Paul and led the Raptors making clutch shots to seal a victory. Five Raptors were in double figures including James Johnson who had 13 and is quickly becoming the 2nd coming to some fans out there. Raptors hung on for the 96-90 win.

Key Match-Ups: If he plays Williams vs Calderon will be the key match-up in this game. Calderon has been facing some of the elite at his position in the game of late. Williams is yet another in that list and on paper is the huge favourite in this match-up. Brook Lopez and Andrea Bargnani should be a match-up that favours the Raptors. But what is going to be tough for the Raptors is winning the battle on the glass and that is in part because of former Raptor Kris Humphries. He is playing some of his best ball of his basketball career and off the floor is dating Kim Kardashian. No clue is she made trip to London. But Hump has and will be a load to deal with. James Johnson matches up with Damion James. I loved James at Texas last year and think he can be a solid pick for the Nets.

Other Things Of Note: Nets have lost 6 straight games coming into this one. Nets are 2-8 in last 10 and Raptors not much better at 3-7 in the last 10. Raptors won their first ever game against the Nets and in fact lead the all-time series 30-28. Deron Williams in first 3 games as a Net has recorded a double double and that is first time that has happened since the NBA kept track of back in 1976-77. Raptors have played games in Euro before and held a training camp in Europe but this is there first visit to London and the O2 arena.

Where is it on: Sportsnet Main Network 3pm (Yes the Raptors are more important than Poker to Sportsnet!!! WOOO!!!)

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