In what has been one of many terrific first-round series in this year's NBA Playoffs, the Toronto Raptors lead the Brooklyn Nets in their best-of-seven battle three games to two. One team fields the most expensive and experienced rosters in the NBA. The other is filled with young guns that don't know any better than to just play their hearts out. The young guns are winning and have a chance to put the series away on Friday night in Game Six at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Nets are filled with big-time star names. Joe Johnson has been the Nets best player averaging 22 points for the series. Paul Pierce was one of the biggest factors in the Nets first victory. However, it's now time for their $100 million point guard to show his worth.
If the Nets hope to not only prolong this series but win it and face the Miami Heat in the second round, Deron Williams will likely need to play at a higher level.
In Game Five, Williams was a non-factor through three quarters. He had scored just three points and dished out only a few assists. In the fourth quarter, he was tremendous as he scored eight points and had five assists. He finished the game with 11 points, nine assists and four steals. For the series, Williams is averaging 16.4 points per game and 6.2 assists. He has not shot the ball well as he is shooting just 39.7% from the field and 26.1% from three-point range. Williams counterpart on the other side has been outstanding.
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry has killed the Nets. Lowry is averaging 21.8 points per game, 5.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds. He is shooting 44.6% from the field, 40.6% from three-point range and 90.9% from the free throw line. Lowry is getting to the line 6.6 times per game. In the Raptors victory in Game Five, Lowry was spectacular. He had 36 points and six assists.
In the final minute of the game, Lowry hit a ridiculously tough three-pointer that put Toronto ahead for good. On the next Raptors possession, Lowry beat Williams to the paint as he drove to his left then dribbled behind his back and hit a tough floater in the lane.
For Williams, it may not be about out playing Lowry. But for the Nets to have a better chance of beating the Raptors in Game Six, Williams may have to very well match Lowry's high level production. At the very least, Williams needs to avoid the kind of start he had in the last game.
If he has a similar start, it is likely there will be no Game Seven in Toronto.
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