Hello…Brooklyn?: Nets Surge to Start 2014
Everyone has those New Years resolutions where we say we’re going to eat better, go to the gym more, be a better person, yada yada yada. How often do those actually happen, though? Well, if Brooklyn’s resolution was to win, they’re actually following up with it. The team that was on the verge of embarrassing themselves with a new look in two out of Boston’s big three and new coach, Jason Kidd, is looking like they’re figuring things out. After a win in a double overtime stunner against the reigning champions, Miami Heat, the Nets are on a five game winning streak and haven’t lost so far this year. Of course, during the streak, the Nets’ opponents have had some validations to their losses. They beat Oklahoma City without Russell Westbrook, they took down contenders for the West, Golden State, at the end of their grueling seven game road trip and last night they defeated an injured Heat team after their loss the previous night to the Knicks. That’s not much of an excuse, though. They still had LeBron for the majority of the game until he fouled out in the first over time. The Nets also did a great job of getting under LeBron’s skin when, not only did they manage to get him to foul out for only the sixth time in his career, but he started to scrap with Brooklyn’s Teletovic after a somewhat hard foul and was consistent with being chippy with teammates throughout the first half. When a team with so much money invested in it is in such a blunder, they look for any signs of progress they can get and that’s where Brooklyn’s at right now. They’ll take injured opponents and teams coming off road trips if it means they can continue to climb the ladder.
Wins are wins and in the Association, you take them anyway you can, but it’s hard to validate them as a team that can make a push in the playoffs based off this streak. However, it’s great to see the veterans get this team back on track and Jason Kidd’s antics be somewhat controlled. It’s a stretch, but it’s progress from the intentional drink spiller we saw not too long ago.
As it stands right now, the Nets are still well under .500 at 15-21, but in the sub-par Eastern Conference, that ridiculous record manages to land them the seventh seed if the playoffs started today. The race for the eighth and seventh seed are still very tight right now and there’s still a lot of season left, so it’s hard to say whether or not the Nets will be in the post season, but if this energy they have right now keeps up, they could very well be in a great position come April. Their roster is filled with guys who are accustomed to winning and quite a few with playoff experience, including future Hall of Famers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. If this team can manage to scrap their way into the playoffs, they could make a serious run, if they can stay out of the bottom of the barrel and avoid playing the Pacers or Heat.
The Nets look to continue to their streak tonight against the 17-17 and Raptors on “Drake Night.” As long as Jason Kidd’s not on his worst behavior, I think they have a decent chance to win (Alright, I’ll stop now).
Let’s also take a minute to admire this jacket Drake has for tonight’s game. Classic Raptors.