For the team that about three weeks ago had fans thinking their season was history, the Brooklyn Nets have now won eight of their last 10 games and now sit firmly in eighth seed, and only .5 games behind the seventh spot in the underwhelming Eastern Conference. The victory over the Pacers, however, was especially important for many reasons.
Controlling Tiebreaker over Indiana
The Nets’ victory over the Pacers Tuesday clinches a regular season series win for them, allowing the Nets to own the tiebreaker over Indiana if such a situation comes up.
The Nets’ “Big Three” (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez) have become the definition of inconsistent this season. However, they have turned the corner during this recent streak and are now looking like the trio that performed so well in their first year in Brooklyn. Staying confident and making the critical shots will translate to playoff success for the Nets, if these stars can keep up their great play.
Keeping the Momentum Going
In many instances this season, the Nets have fallen off as soon as it’s seemed they turned the corner. This game however was a different story, as the Nets were able to keep the hopes up for fans with another convincing victory. The Nets are now in position to control their own destiny for a playoff spot.
What the Nets Must Do Now:
Don’t Overlook Any Opponent
The Nets have a tough schedule remaining, with eight of the 10 remaining teams coming against teams currently holding a playoff spot, including the East-leading Hawks twice. The Nets also play the dreadful Knicks and woeful Magic. Despite these so-called “gimmies”, the Nets need to play the Knicks as hard as they would the Hawks. It’s the best way for Brooklyn to be prepared come playoff time, and it will ensure that the Nets do not slip up on any potential easy win.
Feed The Beast
The beast in this case is Brook Lopez. Lopez has been absolutely fantastic, averaging about 30 ppg and 11 rpg over the last five games, earning him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. The Nets have to do what they can to keep up Lopez’s success, as it has been a big part of why the Nets have been so successful lately.
The Nets only have 10 more games to qualify for a playoff spot. If they get there, it will certainly be a big delight to the loyal fans who have stuck with this team throughout this year.