Turnovers continue to hound the young Toronto Raptors, yet they were able to overcome their 20 giveaways en route to their 100-95 Game 2 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, tying their best-of-seven first round series 1-1.
As the Raptors entered the fourth quarter, trailing 66-64, one would think the Raptors’ 17 turnovers through three quarters could end being the difference in the game. However, led by All-Star DeMar DeRozan‘s 17 fourth quarter points, the Raptors were able to explode for 36 points in the final frame on their way to evening up the series.
Dwane Casey will surely be preaching the importance of protecting the ball to his young team, especially as they get set to embark on two games away from the friendly confines and electric atmosphere of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Including Game 1, the Raptors have turned the ball over 37 times through the opening two games. The trio of their starting backcourt of DeRozan and Kyle Lowry and their center Jonas Valanciunas have accounted for 26 of those miscues.
Yes, there is a learning curve getting used to and settling into playoff basketball. The intensity is ratcheted up a notch and a little more physical play seems to be allowed. The Nets, with all their playoff experience, have been in these situations before and know what it takes to handle the pressure. To think the Raptors have been so irresponsible with the ball, yet are even in the series, has to be classified as a huge win for Canada’s team.
Meanwhile, the veteran Nets have only turned the ball over 18 times through the first two games. While the Nets cannot keep up with the Raptors athletically, the Raptors need to take a page out of the Nets’ book and be more responsible with the ball.
As the Raptors hit the road for two games at the Barclays Center, protecting the ball will be of the utmost importance if they hope to take a lead in this series. Remember, the Nets wanted this matchup because they felt they could exploit the youthfulness of this Raptors team.
If Toronto can cut back on turnovers, Brooklyn may regret getting their wish.