Raptors needs an early wake-up call

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey reacts during the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the first round of...

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey reacts during the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:15 PM ET

If the Raptors are to advance to the second round, several things need to happen on Sunday.

The team cannot begin the game in a daze, as has happened in other contests, most recently, Friday in Brooklyn. “We came out like we were in never-never land in the first quarter,” head coach Dwane Casey said on Saturday. By the time Casey’s team roused itself, the Nets had put up 34 points on near-70% shooting. The Raptors took great pride in “throwing the first punch” and establishing an early tone all season. When that happened, more often than not, the team won.

But Brooklyn has been the aggressor several times now. The Nets have been able to get to wherever they want to go and have forced the Raptors out of what they would like to do offensively.

That can’t happen again Sunday. As much as this group loves to claw out of any hole, the margin of error in a Game 7 is extremely small.

“We started the game out with the opposite disposition that we wanted to, I thought


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