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
Head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Interim Head Coach Jacque Vaughn leads the Nets.

Vaughn took over the team after Kenny Atkinson was unceremoniously dismissed in March.  It is believed that some of the players (cough…Kyrie Irving…cough…Kevin Durant) wanted Atkinson out, despite him leading the team out of an ugly rebuild.

Atkinson was not pleased to have to play washed-up DeAndre Jordan over the much younger and fresher Jarret Allen, and the two sides split.

Enter Vaughn, who inherited an awful situation but has made the most of it, guiding the Nets to a 7-3 record and rising to the seventh in the East during bubble play.

His reward? A hungry defending champion Raptors team and likely to be replaced in the off-season by someone his stars approve of.

Vaughn had a rough three-year stretch from 2012 to 2014 as head coach of the Orlando Magic, where he compiled a record of 58-158.  If nothing else, he has boosted his stock for the offseason to either get the interim tag removed with Brooklyn or possibly get some other looks around the NBA.

There is absolutely no reason for the Toronto Raptors to lose this series to the Brooklyn Nets.  Full marks to Coach Vaughn and his group of misfit toys for staying competitive and making the playoffs.

My Prediction: The clock strikes midnight for the Cinderella Nets, as the Toronto Raptors win the series in 5 games.

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What is your prediction for the Toronto Raptors’ first round playoff series versus the Nets? Are you confident the Raptors will win, or concerned about the Nets? Let us know in the comments section below.