And that knowledge led directly to Patrick Patterson's steal and game-winning jumper with six seconds left on Monday night.
“We knew exactly what Brooklyn was going to run,” Casey said. “Our defense was set. Kyle Lowry was on the ball because he had five fouls; we were going to take a foul if Brooklyn got it in, and we didn’t want to waste him with that foul.
“Usually we have our big man on the ball, and we have a special coverage that we have for that type of lineup. In a scramble situation, we had numbers, and Kyle Lowry had two or three options to throw the ball to. We made the right play at the end.”
The Nets had no timeouts left, which essentially forced triggerman Deron Williams to make a pass he really didn’t want to make. All of his other options were covered, so D-Will tried to get the ball to Joe Johnson in the backcourt. Obviously, it didn’t work.
“Pretty much Coach drew up a couple plays that he thought they were going to run. They wanted me to be out by half court, and whoever ran in that direction I would take,” Patterson said. “Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time, and I was able to gather the ball, which I then wanted to get to Kyle.”
Said Lowry, who assisted on Patterson’s game-winning make:
“I was on the ball, and we knew they did not have any timeouts. You know they have a million and one plays they could come up with, but we guessed right, and Patrick looked like Richard Sherman out there with that steal. I knew we were just going to go when we got the steal, because they were off-balance. I had a couple guys, but I just went with Pat and he made it.”
• John Salmons had a clear path to the basket on his layup that brought the Raptors within 103-102 with 12 seconds left. Why? Well, because Andrei Kirilenko got pushed out of the way by Amir Johnson. An offensive foul should have been called. It was not the only call the officials missed during what seemed to be a rough night for them.
• Jason Kidd defended his use of the team’s final timeout after Salmons’ basket because he wanted to replace Shaun Livingston and Kirilenko with better free throw shooters Johnson and Williams. Of course, it gave them no margin for error if their inbounds play didn’t work.
• Johnson shot 3-for-10 from the field and is 6-for-22 over his past three games. “It’s about rhythm,” he said. “Some nights, man, it finds you, and some nights it doesn’t. Probably the last three games, it hasn’t been the luck of the draw, so to speak, for me. But as a team, we’ve been playing pretty well. So I’ve been cool with it."