Pregame Primer: Nets (11-9) at Toronto Raptors (4-18), 7:00 P.M.

The Brooklyn Nets are in Toronto tonight and will battle the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.

For the Nets, tonight’s matchup is the second night of a back-to-back but the team needs a win in the worst way.

After losing to the New York Knicks, 100-97 on Tuesday night, the Nets have lost five straight games and have been a completely different team without starting center, Brook Lopez. Lopez is currently nursing a foot injury but may return to action as soon as Friday night. Until then, though, the Nets need a win in the worst way.

Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas

Make Hay: End the Losing Streak

Quite bluntly, the Toronto Raptors are one of the worst teams in the NBA. The team enters tonight’s game having gone 4-18 over its first 22 games, including just 3-4 at home. In the NBA, teams need to make hay against weaker teams in the league and the Nets can’t afford to lose to the team with the second worse record in the NBA.

Starting Frontcourt 

Against the Knicks on Tuesday night, Andray Blatche led the Nets with 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Reggie Evans grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds and helped the Nets to a 37-35 advantage of the glass. Since Avery Johnson elected to start Evans and bench Kris Humphries two games ago, the Nets have yielded 98.5 points to the Milwaukee Bucks and Knicks.

If the Nets are to win tonight, they’ll need Blatche and Evans to have similar performances and outshine the Raptors starters, Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas.

The Raptors are coming off of a 92-74 loss at the Portland Trailblazers. Bargnani injured his right elbow during the game and will not be available when the two teams collide and Amir Johnson, another important piece of the Raptors front court, will be serving a one game suspension for throwing his mouthpiece at an official during the Trailblazers game.

The Raptors will probably start Valanciunas, Mickael Pietrus and Ed Davis and they’ll only have eight healthy bodies.

Deron Williams

After the Nets lost to the Knicks, Deron Williams said that he didn’t think he’s turned in a “good” game this season yet, despite scoring 18 points and dishing out 10 assists against the intra-city rivals. In a game that the Nets need to win, its best player needs to set the tone.

Bench Production

Over the past six games, the Nets are averaging 20.3 bench points. That trend will need to continue tonight if the Nets are to end their five game losing streak.