Fresh off of their heartbreaking, season opening loss at the hands of the Pacers, the task doesn’t get any easier for the Raptors. I mentioned in my season prediction post that 15 of Toronto’s first 22 games will come on the road, with six back-to-backs (more than one-third of their back-to-backs all season) crammed into a 25-day stretch in November, and that all begins Saturday night in Brooklyn.
Only it gets worse.
With the devastation wrought to the New York area by Hurricane Sandy, the Nets’ home opener against the Knicks, which was supposed to go on Thursday, was postponed until November 26. In turn, that now means that when the Raptors play the Nets at Barclays Center on Saturday, it will not only be an opposing team’s home opener, it will be the launching pad for an entirely new era in New York basketball and for a new swarm of rabid Brooklyn fans.
Believe me, I understand that there are much greater things than sports to worry about right now, and in no way do I intend to minimize the aforementioned devastation and tragedies in New York, but it does seem like a foregone conclusion that this game just got a whole lot more intimidating for the Raptors as the team who will “help” the Nets open the Brooklyn Era.
Apparently, NBA 2K13 agrees with me, because the game projects an absolute rout in favour of the hyped up Nets. Have a look for yourselves:
I had already predicted a loss in this game anyway, and a video simulation wouldn’t have changed any of that thinking, but if things go as expected and the Raptors drop to 0-2, Sunday’s home game against the banged up Timberwolves will be the closest thing to “must win” as you can get three games into an 82-game season, as after that, the Raps will head to Oklahoma City and Dallas before following up with games against the 76ers, Jazz, Celtics and Pacers. Eeek.
While I don’t expect a W in Brooklyn, I will say, it would be pretty damn awesome if the Raptors stopped this Nets hype train on opening night in the borough. It would surely sweeten any of the bitter taste still left over from Wednesday night.
In addition, you can expect there to be a lot more eyeballs on this game South of the border than there normally would be for a Raptors/Nets matchup, so a good showing could go a long way in establishing some of the respect the Raptors are looking for.
Nets-Raptors on Saturday in new opener in Barclays now to be shown on NBA TV.
— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) November 2, 2012
BIG thanks to theScore’s Scott Johnson for running the simulation and cutting it for us