Back in November or December, a Monday-night tilt between the Nets and the Raptors wouldn’t have been of much note to most NBA fans. But with the Raptors rising to respectability since the Rudy Gay trade, and the Nets holding court as the league’s hottest team in 2014 (with just one loss in January, coincidentally to the Raptors), Monday night’s Atlantic division match-up all of a sudden had significant playoff implications in the East.
If the Nets’ recent play suggested that they were turning the corner on a truly atrocious start, the final seconds of yesterday’s game showed that their early-season demons haven’t yet been completely purged. Inbounding the ball with 12 seconds left and holding on to a one-point lead, Deron Williams attempted a long pass into the back court, only to have it Richard Sherman’d by a leaping Patrick Patterson, who then iced the game with a sweet ball-fake and a mid-range jumper. Maybe that’s why D-Will has been coming off the bench lately.