One – the Raptors have conceded 81 points in the last two quarters. Toronto struggled to finish on offense and vomited all over defensively to take a 24-point lead as Brooklyn posted its highest tally of the season for any quarter with 41. The Raptors’ game plan was to force Kevin Durant out the ball. On the one hand, so he was able to pop free for a while. Two pushes in the first two minutes because
Misunderstanding and disembodiment begin. The Raptors then moved into covering the area in less than three minutes, but a complete lack of execution allowed the Nets to cruise in wide open threes. On their first possession in the coverage area, the Raptors sank right when Joe Harris hit a triple with a single base pass on the perimeter. This continued for the rest of the quarter, with the most outrageous play coming under the minute mark, as Markiv Morris got on top, then walked the field without anyone around for another open three. Nick Nurse can run all the strategies he wants, but not if his players aren’t willing to execute even the simplest plays with full intensity and focus from the start of the game.
Second – Nurse has changed the starting lineup for the 10th consecutive game and, judging by the looks of it, he’ll need to keep looking. Christian Koloko started against Brooklyn for the third consecutive time this season, partnering with Thad Young who only played four minutes, but Koloko was one of the main reasons for the poor start. Offensively, Koloko went 0-for-4 from the field with a turnover in the opening frame, which includes a missed tip, blocked twice on the same drive, hit an open corner 3, and shuffled his feet in an attempt to get a better
throwing position What the four plays had in common was that they were all excellent chances that created a leadoff double for Pascal Siakam, as the Nets eagerly doubled, but Koloko wasn’t able to capitalize. This isn’t a surprise since Koloko has been weak in every area except when Fred VanVleet or Scottie Barnes was pitching him, and it’s fairly clear that Koloko needs to add more strength and skill in the paint. What was disappointing was that his drills were lost on defense, as he was unable to make the correct readings to contribute at least to that end. Although the lineup was in flux, Nurse needed to continue searching for the right starting lineup.