USA TODAY Sports
The Nets have moved up in the power rankings, but not as high as they were when they were 11-4. Maybe put off by what happened next --and knowing the Nets schedule gets a lot tougher-- none of the power rankers have them in the top five, a level they reached at the beginning of December. Sean Deveney of Sporting News has them sixth, the highest ranking this week.
John Schuhmann, in putting them at No. 9, notes that tough schedule but gives them their due for the league's longest winning streak and their win over the Pacers, noting, "they handled the first test (of their tough schedule) on Sunday." His colleague, David Aldridge, has them at No. 9 as well.
Marc Stein, who has them one place lower (and lower than the Knicks!) calls the 97 points against the Pacers "a real achievement." That's nice. In ESPN's Hollinger Daily Power Rankings, the Nets are No. 8. In fact, all the power rankers have the Nets listed below the Knicks and all but two --Schuhmann and Hollinger-- have them below the Pacers.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (9)
The Nets' schedule gets tougher now, but they handled the first test on Sunday, coming back to beat the Pacers. It was especially encouraging in that they scored 97 points (thanks mostly to 31 trips to the line) in a slow-paced game against the No. 1 defense in the league. Joe Johnson, who has shot 18-for-37 from 3-point range in January, makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday.
David Aldridge, TNT/NBA.com (9)
Current six-game win streak is the Nets' longest in six years.
Marc Stein, ESPN (10)
For all the talk about how easy the schedule's been since P.J. Carlesimo took over, his Nets have now won in Oklahoma City and scored 97 points in a big comeback over the Pacers. Ninety-seven against Indy? Given where this offense was before the coaching change? A real achievement.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (10)
The Nets are 6-0 in January under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. Brooklyn plays host to Toronto and then has two games against struggling Atlanta.
Sean Deveney, Sporting News (6)
P.J. Carlesimo is 8-1 as the coach of the Nets, and Sunday’s win over the Pacers was a good test. He has earned the right to finish the season.
Seth Rosenthal, SB Nation (11)
The Nets continued to dominate inferior competition this week, then tacked on a win over the Pacers with some huge offensive spurts.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (9)
Winners of six in a row and in that run their offense has been ridiculously good — 113 points per 100 possessions in their last five games, best in the NBA in that stretch. But their defense has been top five as well. We know they can play well for a stretch, but can they sustain it?
Mitch Lawrence, NY Daily News (13) published Friday
P.J. is looking good. That's P.J. Carlesimo, who has the Nets on a roll since they bounced Avery Johnson, and not Phil Jackson, who claims he's staying retired.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (11) published Friday
The Nets sure know how to make Mikhail Prokhorov look good, going 6-1 since hastily firing Avery Johnson and promoting P.J. Carlesimo to interim coach. Granted, five of those wins came against losing teams, but Brooklyn hasn't played this well over a prolonged period of time since early November. The Nets have scored at least 100 points five times in seven games under Carlesimo, after doing it only seven times in 28 games under Johnson. If the Nets continue to play like this, Carlesimo won't be going anywhere, whether Phil Jackson has interest in coaching or not.