Brooklyn Nets Clinch Playoff Spot, Eye Bigger Prize
It’s late April, meaning some NBA teams are claiming playoff spots, while others are jockeying for position in an extra competitive season. The Brooklyn Nets fall under the former, and have clinched a seed no lower than six. They’re the first Eastern Conference team to do this, and currently in the driver’s seat for the number one overall seed, a game and a half up from the Philadelphia 76ers and three and a half games removed from last season’s one seed, the Milwaukee Bucks.
For the Nets to have gotten to this point is quite impressive. They have a first-year head coach in former MVP Steve Nash, a hire that was criticized by many during the offseason. His lack of experience hasn’t been an issue thus far, but watching how he competes against other great basketball minds in the postseason will be quite fun. Describing their roster as “overhauled” would be putting it lightly. Star Kevin Durant made his debut with the team this season, and they made potentially the trade of the year in acquiring shooting guard James Harden. One might assume the three headed monster of Durant, Harden and point guard Kyrie Irving would lead to total domination, but the trio has played a mere seven games together this year. Players like shooting guard Joe Harris, who’s averaging 14.5 points per game and connecting on a blistering 48% of his triples, have stepped up when one of the stars has been injured.
Clinching a spot in the playoffs is a team accomplishment, and forward Jeff Green is hungry for more. “That’s something we can be proud of, but we also have to realize that that’s not the goal,” he said. “We have to take on the next step, and that’s focusing on what we need to accomplish in the playoffs to get to our ultimate goal.”
With just 10 games remaining in the regular season, and players like Harris and Harden sidelined until the playoffs, one must wonder how good this team could look at full strength. Will the lack of chemistry hurt them or will the raw talent this team possesses lead them to a title? It’ll be fascinating to watch it all come together.
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