Nets Lose, but Look Toward Playoffs
Added by Matthew Hochberg on April 15, 2013.
Despite a loss to Toronto, Brooklyn is gearing up for a playoff run.
The Brooklyn Nets (47-33) will go into the NBA Playoffs as the number four seed. After a loss to the lowly Toronto Raptors (32-48) Sunday afternoon, the Nets gave up any hope of catching up to and passing the Indiana Pacers for the number three seed in the Eastern Conference.
This loss snapped Brooklyn’s four game win streak, a stretch where Deron Williams was on fire, averaging 26.3 PPG and 9.0 APG. Despite the loss, Williams was still phenomenal, scoring 30 points and adding seven assists. However, Brooklyn was unable to overcome performances from Demar DeRozan and Rudy Gay, who combined for a total of 62 points and 15 rebounds.
The Nets are still waiting to see if their first round playoff match-up will be against the Chicago Bulls or Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls, who own the tie-breaker over the Hawks simply need a tie to capture the five seed. Whoever it may be, making it to the playoffs is something the Nets haven’t accomplished since 2007, when they were still playing in New Jersey at Continental Airlines Arena and still led by their own version of “The Big Three” of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson.
However, if the Nets hope to advance in the playoffs and make some noise, Deron is going to need some help. As good as he is, he cannot carry a team in an extended series by himself. First year Nets player Joe Johnson, who was traded from Atlanta this past offseason, will have to show he really is one of the better shooters the NBA has to offer and consistently knock down shots. Center Brook Lopez must continue to be both an offensive and defensive presence in the post, and role players such as Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans will have to contribute at a high rate.
Whether the Nets do advance deep into the playoffs or not, this should certainly be considered a successful season for them. They have made an extremely smooth transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn and have a talented team. As they continue to develop better chemistry and possibly pick up a few more pieces in the offseason, don’t be surprised if Brooklyn is a force to be reckoned with come the next few seasons.