Toronto Raptors: Meet their first-round opponent, the Brooklyn Nets

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets and Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors kick off the playoffs and their title defence on Monday. We take a look at their first round opponent, the Brooklyn Nets.

Who exactly are the Toronto Raptors matching up against, in the first round of the playoffs?  That’s an excellent question.

This Brooklyn Nets squad is a mishmash of odd parts after being devastated by injuries and Covid-19 this season. We know they will be without All-NBA talents Kyrie Irving (held to just 20 games this season due to injury) and Kevin Durant (out all year while recovering from an Achilles injury).

The team also lost Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Michael Beasley and Taurean Prince, who either announced they had Covid-19 or were not willing to travel to the NBA’s bubble because of it.  So what the heck do the Nets have left to throw at the Raptors?

The Nets have Caris LeVert.

Any team this ravaged by injury would surely have wilted and tossed in the towel, right?  Not so with these Brooklyn Nets.  The team went 5-3 in the bubble and are 7-3 under interim head coach Jacque Vaughn.

The best player remaining on the team is small forward/shooting guard Caris LeVert.  The 6-6 Michigan alum was drafted 20th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

According to According to Basketball-Reference, LeVert put up 18.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists over 45 games this season.  He shot 42.5% from the floor and added 36.4% three-point accuracy.

LeVert has steadily improved in his four NBA seasons, increasing his minutes played, points per game, assists per game and rebounds per game every year.  He provides the most dangerous player on the Nets roster for the Toronto Raptors to worry about.