Will Looking Past Toronto Raptors Affect Brooklyn Nets?

By Mike B. Ruiz
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

We all know how the NBA playoffs work by now. Each series is a best-of-seven, with 16 victories resulting in the ultimate prize, a world championship. To reach that pinnacle is an extended process to say the least, and if you asked the Brooklyn Nets, they’d tell you that the only opponent they’re really concerned about at this point is the Toronto Raptors in their opening round matchup.

But if there’s anything that’s currently exciting the Nets as much as their second consecutive postseason appearance, it would have to be the fact that they and the Miami Heat finished with the sixth and third seeds in the East respectively. That means Brooklyn – if they advance past Toronto – would more than likely set up a date with the Heat in the semifinals and present themselves an opportunity to knock off the two-time defending champions.

It still remains to be seen whether or not the Heat and Nets will in fact meet later down the line, but the thought of having a shot at the team that no team has been able to take down since the Dallas Mavericks did in the 2011 Finals has to be pushing Brooklyn even harder this postseason. Going 4-0 against Miami during the regular season only adds to their confidence on the matter.

In most cases, such thoughts could provide a distraction from challenges of the present, but for the Nets, that won’t be the case. This team was specifically built last summer to dethrone Miami this postseason. Anyone who stands directly in their way of accomplishing that will not be overlooked in the least bit.

A team never wants to look too far ahead, but seeing the Heat in the distance will actually be a great motivator for the Nets against the Raptors in the first round. Battling Miami in a playoff format is the moment Brooklyn has been waiting a very long time for, and the only way that’s ever going to happen is if they make it past the Raptors first.

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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