Nets Attempt to Finish the Season Strong
Added by Deshawn Jelani on April 23, 2012.
Kris Humphries, along with Deron Williams and others, will be a free agent after this season. Are these final two games their last as a Net?
The New Jersey Nets will make an attempt at a strong end to this dismal season as they go against the playoff hopeful Philadelphia 76ers on Monday and the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
Winning the next two games is important to the franchise because it can provide some much needed momentum going into free agency and into a brand new arena next season.
The Nets, who carry a 22-42 record, are in the midst of a 4-game losing streak. All of these losses came against playoff-bound and playoff hopeful teams. This losing streak includes a disappointing loss against the Miami Heat by three points. The Heat trailed the entire game versus the Nets until the closing minutes when Lebron James took over the fourth quarter and the Nets had no answer on the offensive end, scoring only two points in the final two minutes of the game.
With wins in the next two games, free agents may have a reason to want to sign with the franchise going into Brooklyn next season. Players have to believe that they are subscribing to a winning organization in order for them to want to play for them. This, of course, is only one factor. However, winning is a huge reason that can entice good players to play for them (and especially for all-start point guard Deron Williams).
The Nets face the 76ers (33-30) on Monday at the Prudential Center in Newark. Philadelphia, who has yet to clinch a spot in the playoffs, is looking to play with all intensity. They too, however, are struggling late this April. The 76ers have lost three of their last five games and are also having trouble closing close games in the fourth quarter. This seems to be a very winnable game for the Nets.
The Toronto Raptors host the Nets this Thursday. They also hold a record of 22-42 and boast a 3-game losing streak. The Raptors are 27th in the league in scoring, so, putting up points against them should be an easy task with the kind of points the Nets have been putting up recently. This also seems like a game that New Jersey can indubitably win.
Currently, Deron Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Shelden Williams, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Green all become free agents this summer. All of these players are important pieces to what the New Jersey Nets have built to this point. It is imperative that the Nets go into the off-season on a good note so that these players feel good about signing long term with the team. If this is the case, with a healthy team and a strong draft, this team could be well on its way to being in the playoffs this time next year.