Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets Could Make the Playoffs THIS Season

Bart GadburyContributor IIIMarch 16, 2011

Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets Could Make the Playoffs THIS Season

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  #8 Deron Williams of the Nets in action during the NBA match between New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena on March 4, 2011 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    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.

5) The New Jersey Nets Play in the Eastern Conference

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 11:  Jordan Farmar #2 of the New Jersey Nets is fouled against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    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.

4) Brook Lopez Is Starting To Play Basketball

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets shoots over Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 100-88.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    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.

3) Avery Johnson Isn't the WORST Coach in the NBA

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Head Coach, Avery Johnson speaks with his players during the NBA match between New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena on March 4, 2011 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    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.

2) Dirty Work: Great Movie, but It Also Makes Great Ball Players

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Jason Collins #34 of the Atlanta Hawks battles for a loose ball against Kris Humphries #43 of the New Jersey Nets at Philips Arena on December 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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.

1) Deron Williams Plays for the Nets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz and the Western Conference lays the ball up in the second half in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    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.