Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Nets vs the Raptors.
Where: Game 1 – Air Canada Centre, Toronto.
When: Saturday April 19, 17:30 BST
Watch live: Click here to watch on Bet365!
The Toronto Raptors topped the Atlantic Division with a franchise-record 48 wins in the regular season, but they still face doubters ahead of taking on the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets dropped four of their last five games, and while coach Jason Kidd insisted it was a result of resting his key players ahead of the post-season, many others see it as a strategic move.
Brooklyn face Toronto instead of Chicago after slipping to the six seed, with the Raptors being labelled the weakest of the top four in the Eastern Conference, and should they progress they will face the Miami Heat whom they claimed a season sweep of 4-0 this season.
Both Raptors coach Dwane Casey and general manager Masai Ujiri were both pretty feisty in their response to allegations of tanking, with the message clear that the Nets should be “careful what they wish for”.
Toronto (48-34) and Brooklyn (44-38) split four meetings during the regular season with each team winning once on the other’s home court, and so this series is particularly intriguing and close to call.
However, with the benefit of veteran experience in the form of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson, the Nets are many people’s tip to cause a shock or two this post-season.
Nevertheless, while three Toronto starters have never even played a minute of playoff basketball, the oldest player in their starting line-up is 28, and they will inevitably look to push the pace and make Brooklyn uncomfortable in transition.
It will also be a battle between Kyle Lowry and Deron Williams at the point guard position, which only further serves to add to the excitement around this match-up.
Brooklyn may well be favourites to advance, but Toronto will have something to say for themselves after impressing all year long.