For the first time in at least five years, the Nets are a consensus top 10 team in the weekly Power Rankings. Yahoot! Sports has them at No. 7. NBA.com and USA Today have them at No. 8, Sports Illustrated at No. 9 and SB Nation one spot lower. Marc Stein of ESPN remains unconvinced, putting them at No. 12, behind the 4-4 Hawks, the 6-5 Celtics --who've lost two of their last three-- and the 5-5 Bulls. But Stein does move them up six spots from last week.
Here are excerpts from the power rankings already posted. SI's rankings were posted before the weekend and others, like NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be out later Monday or early Tuesday.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (8)
The Nets have won five straight, even though they haven't played all that great. Joe Johnson still isn't shooting well, they're the league's worst third-quarter team, and the only teams they've been able to defend are the Magic and Kings. So this week's matchups with the Lakers and Clippers will be very interesting. We'll see how far they've come since getting smoked by the Heat.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (9)
The Nets got their first quality win of the season by outlasting the Celtics on Thursday and are playing surprisingly well without Gerald Wallace, who has missed all but one game. Brook Lopez is finally healthy and playing like one of the best big men in the East, scoring at least 20 points in four of seven games. His rebounding (6.6 rpg) still leaves something to be desired from a 7-footer, but his offensive ability more than makes up for it.
Seth Rosenthal, SB Nation (10)
Brooklyn's sitting on a lovely win streak they earned (mostly) without Gerald Wallace and with some spotty play from Joe Johnson. We're going to learn a lot more about this team over the next week or two, as their schedule so far hasn't been much of a challenge (the win over the Celtics notwithstanding. That was a good 'un). Something to keep an eye on: The Nets are currently 30th in the NBA in pace, while their next four opponents are all in the top half of the league in that department.
Marc Stein, ESPN (12)
The victims in this five-game winning streak have a composite record of 13-27. The most impressive win of the five came against the Rondo-less Celtics at home. Yet there is some noise coming out of Brooklyn courtesy of some encouraging flashes from an improving (we think) Brook Lopez.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (7)
The Nets have five straight wins, but face a tough week with road games against the Lakers, Golden State and Clippers.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (8)
Even with Joe Johnson shooting 36.0% for the season, they have won five in a row.
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