2014 Eastern Conference Playoffs Preview: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors – Game 2

joe johnson-nets-2013Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors
Time: 7:30 PM ET, Apr 22, 2014
Spread: TOR -4.5
M/L: TOR -190; BRO +165
Total: 191

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Brooklyn Nets leaped out to a 1-0 series lead by stealing Game One on the road 94-87.

After a long lapse between games, the Nets will try to steal a second on the road in a game that the Toronto Raptors are favored in. NBA oddsmakers at Bovada set the line 4.5 points in favor of the home team Toronto.

Paul Pierce of the Nets was pleased with the long break since game one, commenting that the team has not been good in back-to-back situations this season. Pierce cited the age of the Nets roster as a possible reason why, but with the Raptors youth-infused, it would certainly play into Toronto’s hands if the games were more compressed.

The Raptors had a lot of trouble with Pierce in game one, and the veteran scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson are charged with the task of covering one of the craftiest players in the NBA. Patterson said “he will be a hall of famed, he can do so much at that position.” Johnson should be able to use his size to frustrate Pierce, but he’ll need to avoid biting on Pierce’s array of pump fakes.

Toronto will hope for another big game from point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry was snubbed from the All-Star team this season but had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in game one. Jonas Valanciunas also had a strong performance on the interior, scoring 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbing 18 rebounds (five offensive).

The Raptors will need a better game from 2-guard DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan made his first All-Star appearance this season and led the Raptors in scoring in 2013-14, but hit just 3-of-13 from the floor in game one, en route to 14 points (8-of-8 free throws). DeRozan must be counted upon to hit a higher percentage and the Raptors need his offense. Had he hit at his usual clip, the Raptors likely would have pulled out game one as it was favored to.

BRO Trends: 4-0 ATS in last 4 road games vs teams with home winning percentages greater than .600; UNDER 6-0-1 in last 7 games on 2 days rest; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 road games vs teams with home winning percentage greater than .600.

TOR Trends: 0-4-1 ATS in last 5 home games vs teams with losing road records; 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 home games; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games.

Head-to-head: UNDER 5-1 in last 6 meetings in Toronto.

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