Out to a Hot Start
Brooklyn came out showing some signs of life as they jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead. As in most of the series, Toronto was able to answer and power through. Toronto went up 39-32 after one. Caris LeVert and Tyler Johnson were the two main bright spots, as they had 11 points apiece, totaling for 22 of the 32 Brooklyn Nets points.
Despite scoring solidly from the field, the defense was a major concern the whole evening as Toronto had their way inside the paint, and on the perimeter. Toronto connected on 22 of their 47 attempts from three and shot 55% from the field overall in this game.
Main players Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet were unable to play in much of the first half, as Lowry left with an injury, and VanVleet was in foul trouble early. Even without those two players, Toronto still led Brooklyn 77-68 at the break. There was some hope for the Nets, as to possibly stealing this one, and forcing a game 5. Caris LeVert did all he could, as he totaled a career-high for points in a half, with 26 points.
Brooklyn came out cold to start the third, and as I said, the defense was a major problem. Toronto was able to blow the game open to 23 point lead with 6:56 remaining in the quarter, and they did not look back. The Nets were outscored 39-19 in the quarter and faced a 29 point deficit heading into the 4th. LeVert, who did not play in the 4th, was a lone bright spot for the Nets.
He totaled 35 points, six rebounds, and six assists in 30 minutes of action. LeVert tried his hardest to will this team to a victory, but it just wasn’t enough to defeat a well-coached and motivated Toronto Raptors team. Although not scoring many points on limited field goal attempts, Jarrett Allen has been a hugely positive note for the Nets on the glass. Allen was dominant on the glass, as he was able to corral at least 12 rebounds in each game of this series, averaging 14.8 boards overall.
The 4th quarter was pretty nonexistent, as the game was far out of reach. Brooklyn ended up outscoring the Raptors 35-34, resulting in a 150-122 loss overall. The Nets shot a tad under 40% from the field, and 38% from downtown. They were also outrebounded on the glass 57-44.
It is obviously difficult to think positively, especially after being swept in a best of seven series. But this team should keep their heads up. This squad went through a lot all season, with many injuries, lineup changes, and a coaching switch. As for the Bubble, this squad shocked many in the eight restart games, having a record of 5-3. Jacque Vaughn did a great job with this undermanned squad, and definitely deserves a lot of thought to remain as the Head Coach of this squad heading into the 2020-2021 season.
Brooklyn now heads into a huge offseason, to gear up for the franchise’s most anticipated seasons. Led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This Nets squad will attempt to be a contender next season, and become a problem for the whole NBA.