Defending NBA champs get high marks — RAPTORS REPORT CARDS

Defending NBA champs get high marks — RAPTORS REPORT CARDS

Norman Powell led the Toronto Raptors past the Brooklyn Nets, 104-99.

Fred VanVleet was in inspired form for the Raptors as he led the way with a huge 30 points and eleven assists.

Seven Raptors scored in double figures.

The NBA's unprecedented restart comes after a four-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

Nurse also addressed the shocking video that showed an Alameda, Calif., sheriff's deputy attacking Raptors president Masai Ujiri after Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June, 2019, a relevation that spawned a countersuit from the Raptors president.

However the night got off to a psychological beginning. Juno Award-winning Toronto singer Jessie Reyez performed a goosebump-enducing rendition of "O Canada" while kneeling on the outdoor EdgeWalk atop the CN Tower.

"Man, it was awesome".

With Toronto up by five, head coach Nick Nurse went to a smaller lineup with five minutes remaining in the game.

Bookmakers give the Raptors a -11.5 spread and expect them to beat the odds.

Kyle Lowry's face exploded in a cheek-to-cheek, ear-to-ear smile he may never find again, his broad grin lighting up the Orlando afternoon.

Whatever put the Raptors in the right headspace, we're here for it. "It's just a proud moment for us".

Just ahead of yesterday's Toronto Raptors playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Serge Ibaka had a little dance-off of sorts to set the mood. "We'll continue to assess him and see where he's at, but he is progressing toward getting back on the floor", Vaughn said of Crawford prior to the series opener. It felt like guys were amped up and energized. "The experience factor is one of the best things you can lean on when you've won a championship". I loved his focus on the defensive end and I'm personally not going to be a part of that narrative that he needs to score more or be the No. 1 option or whatever the case may be for our team. "Just seeing him doing it on the floor is really unbelievable".

And, as the Raptors' title defence begins in earnest on Monday with a series against the Brooklyn Nets, or at least a team that bears a vague resemblance to the Brooklyn Nets, it's hard to know exactly where those expectations should be this time.

Jarrett Allen's dunk cut Toronto's edge to 95-92 with 4:43 left. We were kind of thrown back.

The Raptors have spent this entire season embracing their underdog status, just like they did past year.

Raptors: Toronto's 3-0 lead now leaves only Minnesota and the Clippers as the other National Basketball Association franchises never to hold a 3-0 lead in either a best-of-seven or a best-of-five playoff series. Both coaches subbed in their benches for the remainder of the night.

In two playoff games, Toronto might have found its new offensive catalyst in VanVleet, despite having two other All-Stars in Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.

"We didn't take as many shots or we weren't as confident in taking the shots when we had them, and they had us on our heels", Temple said. Toronto is 10 in the playoffs in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.3 percent from the floor to date.

Fred VanVleet opened the game with a three-pointer.

The Raptors are 9-5 against the rest of their division. Ultimately, it must have worked, because they took the victory.

"I'm just trying to make plays, that's all", Siakam said. In Game 2, with Powell rolling, Davis didn't get off the bench.

At the Walt Disney World Resort there are no home games and no road games - even though the Brooklyn Nets were the home team for Game 3 of their first-round best-of-seven series against the theoretically visiting Raptors. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot matched his career best with 26 points for the Nets. The Raptors shot a 73-51 direct in the hafltime break.

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