The Brooklyn Nets (2-3) will look to defend its home court and starve off a first round elimination to the upstart Toronto Raptors (3-2). The Raptors dominated the first three quarters and built up a huge 26-point lead. Brooklyn’s offense scored a whopping 44 points in the fourth quarter, but Toronto did enough to hold on for a 115-113 victory. Toronto’s two best players, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, combined for 59 points. The Nets must do a better job at limiting them on the offensive end.

The Nets season ended last season on the home floor in Game 7 to the Chicago Bulls. The 2013 Nets lacked toughness and to make up for that deficiency, the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce and Garnett have added an edge, but did not play many minutes in their Game 5 loss. Pierce scored just ten points in 24 minutes while Garnett only played 12 minutes. Reserve forward Mason Plumlee is averaging more minutes than Garnett. 

The Nets will rely on their veteran experience in this pivotal Game 6. Expect Pierce and Garnett to play limited, but effective minutes. Look for Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to carry the offensive burden. 

Current NBA odds have the Nets listed as a five-point home favorite. I’m taking the home team in this one. I’m expecting a very emotional effort from the Nets. I expect the Nets to carry over their big fourth quarter into Game 6. Lay the points and take the home team.

NBA Pick: Nets -5