The Nets are in Memphis, home of the Grizzlies and their new vice president of basketball operations, John Hollinger. While Hollinger has left ESPN, his rating systems live on and three of them have to make Nets fans --and fans of their 24-year-old center, in particular, quite happy.
--Hollinger's playoff odds also for the first time assign a 100 percent likelihood that the Nets will make the playoffs this year, which would be the first time in six long years. Only the Heat and the Nets are sure things in the East, according to the analysis. The Knicks, he has at 99.8 percent.
--Hollinger has Brook Lopez at No. 4 in Player efficiency rankings (PER), hehind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, and just ahead of Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan. Andray Blatche is listed at No. 9, just ahead of Russell Westbrook.
There are other numbers besides Hollingers. These are supplied by the Nets PR Department:
--The only player in the NBA with a better free throw percentage and more free throws than Deron Williams is Kevin Durant
--The Nets are now fourth in the NBA in rebounding percentage at 51.9% After defeating the second-best rebounding percentage team, Minneapolis, Wednesday night, they face the league-leader in that category, Memphis (52.9%) Thursday.
--The Nets hadn’t scored the first nine (or more) points of a road game since April 15, 2007 and they hadn't won in Minnesota since 2002.
And perhaps most importantly, the Nets are a half-game behind the division-leading Knicks and two and a half games behind Eastern Conference-leading Heat.