Power rankings are all over the lot this week, with the consensus being that they remain in the top dozen, but with the two senior power rankers, John Schuhmann and Marc Stein, dropping them to No. 14 and 18, respectively. ESPN's Hollinger daily rankings has them at No. 17. Want to know how badly their weekend losses hurt them? Matt Dolllinger and Mitch Lawrence, who rank teams on Fridays, had them in the top 10.
Here's the analysis...
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (14)
Only the Heat (22-3) and Spurs (29-4) have better records against teams under .500 than Brooklyn (19-3). The Nets play eight of their next 11 games against losing teams, but nothing's a given with how they've been playing. They've lost four of their last five and their offense has been rather spotty for quite a while now, scoring less than a point per possession over their last 21 games.
Marc Stein, ESPN (18)
D-Will has been a better player, bad ankles and all, since returning from the All-Star break. Brook Lopez leads all centers with 26 20-point games. And still Brooklyn has given LeBron little reason to amend his All-Star Weekend statement that omitted the Nets as a threat to Miami in the East.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (11)
Brooklyn has dropped four of its past five, but has winnable ones ahead vs. Charlotte and Washington. The Nets are losing ground to New York in the Atlantic with no games left against their cross-town rival.
David Aldridge, NBA/TNT (12)
Nets can't find consistent pieces on the bench, which is why it was surprising they couldn't snag someone at the trade deadline.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (11)
The Nets are not a bad team — not a contender, not top three in the East even, but good. We say that so you don’t get fooled by the next three weeks when the Nets feast on a schedule heavy with lottery teams and they start to look better than they are.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (10)
The good news is, based on their team salary, it's only costing them the value of the entire Milwaukee Bucks franchise for every win.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (11)
Reggie Evans watched the Ibaka-Griffin punch with a sense of pride in his league influence.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (9) published Friday
The Nets are only two games back of the No. 2 seed in the East, but they seem to be the forgotten challenger to the Heat's throne. The Knicks, at their best, are an offensive juggernaut. The Pacers, at their best, are the stingiest defense in the league. So what are the Nets? They're significantly improved overall from last season, but that doesn't mean they have an identity. Even though Avery Johnson is long gone, the team's molasses pace remains a staple, ranking dead last in the league. Brooklyn is great at limiting opponents' possessions, but ranks just 17th in defensive efficiency. That's not going to cut it against the Heat, the league's best offensive team.
Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News (8) published Friday