In wrestling there is a term for what the Raptors have coming to them in game 3 tonight in Brooklyn. It is called a “receipt” but not like you get at the grocery store. In wrestling that term means you landed a hard blow in the course of a match and now your opponent owes you one back. Safe to say Raptors fans have run a muck with all of this F-Brooklyn stuff started by Masai Ujiri saying it at pre-game peep rally prior to game one. Well now you are in Brooklyn for game number three and safe to assume the Brooklyn crowd will have some kind of retort for all of this.
More to the point I expect this to be the most hostile environment the Raptors have ever played in. Even more than in a Philadelphia back in the day in a game seven. I say this because while all of this may seem like fun and games it has made this very personal and not just a battle between players on a court but of people and cites.
I also find it all pretty stupid that by the way one of the most beloved people the Raptors have Jack Armstrong was born and raised in Brooklyn. Jack Donahue long time coach of Canada’s national team also has roots in Brooklyn if I am not mistaken. Point is Brooklyn has actually given Canada a few good men in terms of basketball in this country.
Aside from all this potty mouthed nonsense there is a real basketball concern that ties into all of this. While the Raptors do have the best road record in team history that may not matter based on a couple of things. Based on how they have started games and how likely hostile this Brooklyn crowd should be towards them this game could be in trouble from the start.
Jonas Valanciunas has been the one guy that I can honestly say is playing above expectations for the Raptors in this series. He has been tremendous averaging 16 points and 16 rebounds in his first two playoff games of his NBA career. On the opposite end of that has been Terrence Ross who has been highly ineffective. To the point it gave Landry Fields an opportunity to play in game two and actually do a decent job on the defensive end. When you consider the lack of playing time he has had this year decent is likely understating it.
The Raptors are going to be hard pressed to win a game on the road here especially if they can not figure out how to get out of the blocks quicker. You have to think though in order to win this series they pretty much have to win one of these two games to stand any realistic chance of doing so.
The tougher of the two will likely be tonight as there is no doubt all of what has went on in the first two games up here in Canada has served to fire up the Brooklyn faithful and that receipt is coming for the Raptors tonight.