Raptors levelled series but now face trip to Brooklyn for Game 3.
Brooklyn Nets star Paul Pierce believes that his team were “soft” in their defensive approach against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Having pulled out a victory in the opening game of the series, the Nets went down to a 100-95 loss in Toronto on Tuesday night, with the next meeting taking place in Brooklyn on Friday.
DeMar DeRozan was particularly influential in levelling the series at 1-1, as his 30 points guided the Raptors to victory and raised questions over whether or not the Nets can cope with a quicker tempo.
However, Pierce was keen to stress that the defensive effort as a team was not there on Tuesday, while Kevin Garnett is confident that the hostile environment in Brooklyn will be a telling factor against an inexperienced playoff team such as the Raptors.
“I thought guys stuck to their man individually for the most part and didn’t help one another and that is the big part of our defense,” Pierce said, as reported by ESPN.
“Sink and shrinking the floor, locking down the paint, tonight too many touches for them in the paint, too many paint points, and we didn’t rebound.
“We gave them everything they wanted, 50 points in the paint, and  offensive rebounds,” Pierce added. “We were a soft team tonight.”
Pierce finished with just seven points in this encounter after his fourth-quarter heroics in the first game, but ultimately coach Jason Kidd will be content having taken a game on the road which in turn takes away the home-court advantage for now.
Garnett specifically referred to Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri shouting “F**k Brooklyn!” during a rally before Game 1 outside of the Air Canada Centre, and he admits that we’ll all find out what it’s like to come into Brooklyn after making such a statement.