So here we go, on the night before the trade deadline. All is quiet for the Raptors and it is likely to stay that way given the goals of this franchise at the moment. So, we can focus on if this team can actually win two games in a row. Deron Williams is out for the Nets and so is Calderon for the Raptors. I would consider that advantage Toronto. Is that enough to get them a win? Time to find out.
Sloppy start by both sides as the teams trade turnovers. Raptors got the first two baskets of this game to get the jump on the Nets. Kris Humphries was all over the place in both good and bad ways. He made a jumper and that was followed by a Raptor turnover leading to easy two in transition and this puppy was tied at 6. More Hump with the two handed jam and Nets had their first lead on the night at 12-10. Hump had a career high 31 point and 18 rebounds on Monday, so far in this one he has 8 points and 3 rebounds. Raptors went on a 8-3 run capped with a DeRozan slam in transition on the nice hook up from Bayless. Barbosa would make that 10-3 as he was playing and showing why he might be the most attractive trade piece in a Raptor uniform. In what was a very sloppy quarter for both the Raptors and Nets the Dinos had a 22-19 lead.
Anthony Morrow opens the scoring and makes it a one point lacking excitement contest. Nets get the lead back for first time since 12-10 with back to back hoops to open the 2nd. Barbosa audition continues with steal followed by a drive and behind the back pass to Linas for the easy 2. For a game tied at 25 this had all the excitement of watching paint dry for the most part. Gaines the Raptor for a couple 10 day contracts last year gave the Nets the lead 27-25. A quiet night for Bargnani so far as he makes his 2nd shot on the night to tie the game at 27. The Barbosa audition was the only true excitement as he adds a jumper made as he is fouled. Missed the and one but the Raptors had a 32-29 lead. Bragnani makes up for a turnover with a nice drive and finish and the Raptors lead was 5 with a time out on the floor. James Johnson kept the Raptors roll going on a 9-0 run now but the Nets finally had an answer and it was back to a 5 point game at 36-31. But the Raptors keep rolling make it a 13-2 run for Toronto and a 40-31 lead. Raptors get a bucket from Bayless he had 8 dimes doing his best Jose Calderon impression only he was playing defense too. Raptors had slippage near the end of the half and were trying to hang on to the lead. But they did manage to hold on with a 46-41 halftime lead.
Raptors continue to build your expectation levels for Jonas coming. I think it is pretty irresponsible to hype this kid to the moon all to serve as a distraction to the fact this season has been terrible. If he is not as good as advertised I urge you not to blame the kid and blame the people responsible for building your expectations to high. Anyway, back to the guys actually playing here that are up 5 on the Nets. New Jersey opens the half with a 3 pointer to cut the lead to just two. The one thing Bargnani has stuggled with since his return ironically is hit 3 point shot. he had a wide open transition three that he missed. Nets would tie the game up on the next possession at 46. Nets would eventually nose ahead with a 52-50 lead. Kris Humphries takes an ill advised jumper, gets his own rebound and kicks the ball out and possession ends with a Hump dunk. That sums up the good and bad of Kris Humphries in one possession. Bottom line it worked out and the Nets had a 4 point lead. Nets had a chance to make that an eight point lead but Hump threw the ball away. Demar Derozan took a knock to his face. He made the basket and the free throw than took a seat to get checked out. Nets were starting to pull away with this one. Jerryd Bayless after a solid first half with 8 assist had 0 in this 3rd quarter and was making some turnovers. Raptors limped to the end of the 3rd and the Nets had a 12 point turnaround in that quarter to lead 66-59 after 3.
Ed Davis angry he gets no halftime features makes a basket to start the 4th. Raptors were making just some awful and unforced turnovers and the Nets were happy to take the gifts being thrown their way. Nets had methodically built an eleven point lead. Bayless scored on a transition layup and Avery Johnson was quick to call a time out. There was roughly 7:40 left to play and out of time out Hump knocks down a jumper to restore the double digit lead. DeRozan than tries to put Hump on a poster but has to settle for two free throws. He missed both and the Raptors trialled 80-69. Nets would push that lead to as high as 14. Raptors would roll off 6 straight points and get it to an eight point advantage with 4:30ish left to go. Gerald Green who is most famous for blowing out a candle on a cupcake was blowing out the Raptors with 21 points. His latest two made the lead climb back to 10. After a dump tech by Anthony Morrow and the Raps hitting that Green again with an insane jumper to make the lead 10. Raptors needed a huge change in momentum as James Johnson scored to cut the lead to 8 points but their was just 2:20 left to play. Raptors go zone after the time out and Gaines makes them pay with a three point dagger giving the Nets an 11 point lead. Nets would take this one 98-84 and clobber the Raptors in the 2nd half.
Gerald Green had 26 points and former Raptor Kris Humphries had 16 points and 21 rebounds. It was yet another case of the Raptors not playing a full 48 minutes and paying for it in the end. They only shot 38.3% on the night. It was ugly even when the Raptors were winning. It got uglier when they started losing. Trade Deadline tomorrow if the Raptors do anything will be on top of it. That said if you plan on holding your breath for that...Don't.