The New Jersey Nets are moving to Brooklyn? Forget about it!
They should think about moving to London instead. Since their trip to the UK, the Nets are on a five-game winning streak. Yes, you read that right. And to top it off, they’re only five games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Five games.
Talk about March Madness.
Here are five reasons why the New Jersey Nets could make the playoffs...this year.
They’ve proven they can beat Boston, they’ve split with Chicago so far...and hey...it’s the East. Losing records don’t matter, neither does talent. At least in the Western Conference, your team has to be good to get into the playoffs.
So, lets be honest. They play terrible teams down the stretch. And according to John Hollinger’s most recent NBA Playoff Odds on ESPN.com, the Nets have a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoffs. That’s definitely an improvement from 0.0 percent.
Everyone knows Brook can score. He’s averaging 20 PPG on the season and is an excellent FT shooter at just under 80 percent.
Now the rest of his game is catching up.
Lopez’s rebounding effort (or lack thereof) has been scrutinized all season. But Brook has five double-doubles since the beginning of February. He had one all season heading into February. That’s right, one.
His defense over his last five games has been impressive as well, averaging 3.6 blocks per game.
If Lopez continues to improve, the Nets will too.
You have to remember, Johnson led the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006. That’s the same year he won Coach of the Year. He also helped the Mavs to four straight 50-win seasons.
If he has players that are talented enough, he can help them win ball games. He must have been ecstatic upon hearing about the arrival of Deron Williams.
It is often said that defense wins championships. While they aren't the going to win a 'ship any time soon, the Nets are 15th in the league in rebounding (offensive and defensive) and 15th in the league in blocks. (How many teams make it to the playoffs? Sixteen.)
Kris Humphries is a big part of that, as he’s averaging near a double-double on the season (9.6 PPG and 10 RPG). Teams love guys who like to bang down low, scrap for loose balls and give 100 percent effort every night. Humphries is one of those guys.
Oh yeah, remember this guy? He’s only one of the best point guards in the game. Point guard play is key for any team's success. And luckily for New Jersey, they have that position covered. (Their backup, Jordan Farmar, is better than Derek Fisher and Steve Blake combined. Good move, LA Lakers.)
And with a less restrictive offense, and a high quality post player to dish to in Lopez, Williams will continue to produce great numbers across the board.
He's a two-time NBA All-Star and an Olympic gold medal winner. The guy wants to win.
One of the best all-around point guards in the NBA, Williams’ ability to direct traffic and make the right plays gives New Jersey a go-to player in clutch moments of a game.
As long as he’s healthy and the Nets keep winning, they will have a chance to make the playoffs this season.