Raptors vs Nets VS Raptors vs Nets – 2014 vs 2007

Kidd Vampire Beard

Will Karma Catch Kidd? Source: gmanenetwork.com

The Brooklyn Nets shamelessly allegedly threw their final two games of the season to the Carmelo Anthony-less Knicks and the hope-less Cavaliers by 11 and 29 respectively. If they had won either of those contests, they would have faced the rugged Bulls in the first round. Instead, they fell to sixth in the East to face the third seed Raptors.

However we got here, where we stand is eerily similar to the previous time the Raptors won the Atlantic Division. Observe the parallels.

Playing the Nets in the first round

2007 – New Jersey. 2014 – Brooklyn

Despite being the higher seed, Nets are favourites

According to Vegas insider Brooklyn is 35-1 to win the title. Toronto? 100-1. TSN’s own Jack Armstrong even has Brooklyn winning in seven.

In 2007, though some books had the Raptors at better odds of winning the championship, most analysts from ESPN and NBA TV picked New Jersey to beat them.

Record-setting win total

In 2007, Toronto tied its previous high set in 2001, finishing with a record of 47-35. In 2014, TO closed the regular season with 48 victories.

Nets have a massive playoff experience edge

In 2007, Raptors players had a combined 132 games of playoff experience.  The Nets – 433.

Also note – Fred Jones (27), Darrick Martin (23) and Juan Dixon (10) – non-rotation players, accounted for 60 (45%) of those games for Toronto. For the Nets, Jason Kidd (88), Richard Jefferson (66), Jason Collins (63),  and Vince Carter (30) – all starters in the series, accounted for 247 (57%) of those games for New Jersey.

In 2014 – Raptors – 141. Nets – 710. Also note – Kyle Lowry (13) is the only Raptors starter with any playoff experience.  As for Brooklyn, their starters have, lets say, some – Paul Pierce (136), Kevin Garnett (131), Joe Johnson (69), Deron Wiliams (51), Shaun Livingston (12).

The true value of playoff experience will be tested.

Jason Kidd

Kidd ran the point for New Jersey in 2007. He coaches Brooklyn in 2014. Different facial hair from now and then though – mostly clean shaven in 2007, vampire-ish beard today (see above).

Jason Collins

Collins played for the Nets in 2007 and again in 2014. Pretty wild coincidence considering he played for five other teams in between.

 

Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said he’s going to leave it to the basketball gods to punish the Nets for their behaviour the last two games. Maybe his team can exact some of that punishment as well.

 

 

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