The Brooklyn Nets have earned the respect of the Toronto Raptors.
Ahead of their final seeding game on Friday, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was asked about his impressions of the Nets so far in the bubble.
"They're obviously one of the big surprises of the restart," Nurse responded. "I watched them play a really good Portland team last night in a heck of a game, and they played great. [Caris] Levert is outstanding. They're really playing with a lot of confidence, they're playing fast. Coach [Jacque] Vaughn has obviously got them dialed in, and I think there's a lot of opportunity there for some guys that are pretty good players."
"They've got a lot of guys who are playing with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence right now," Nurse continued. "They've certainly earned and deserve this playoff berth. We will respect them for sure. We will have to prepare and play really well to beat them."
MORE: Raptors vs. Nets series preview
The Raptors and Nets faced each other four times during the regular season, with Toronto winning three of the matchups. However, the Nets team the Raptors faced prior to the season being suspended isn't the one they'll face in the playoffs.
As our Gilbert McGregor broke down, the Nets had to fill seven spots to have a full roster in the season restart with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Wilson Chandler, Taurean Prince, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton not being with the team. Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen have stepped up in their absences while the likes of Tyler Johnson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Chris Chiozza have made the most of their newfound opportunities off the bench.
The Nets have struggled defensively, but they're scoring at a rate of 116.2 points per 100 possessions, ranking them eighth among the 22 teams in Orlando.
MORE: LeVert says Nets can beat Raptors
The Raptors will open their first-round series with the Nets on Monday at 4:00 p.m.
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