The Nets last week finished their eight-game road trip, ending with a win over the Cavaliers. Then, they played two awful games, losing to the Bulls late and beating the barely sentient Bobcats at game's end.
Power ranking pundits mostly had mercy on them, moving them down on or even keeping them at the same level. Still in their comments, there were several truths, one of them that the team's inconsistency is causing everyone to scratch their heads and more troubling that they can't win against winners. As John Schuhmann points out, the Nets have lost eight of their last night against winning teams. That is not a harbinger of playoff success.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (10)
Last week was very representative of the Nets' season. After wins over the Cavs and Bobcats, they're 30-6 and plus-9.8 points per 100 possessions against teams heading to the Lottery. After after Thursday's last-minute loss to the shorthanded Bulls, they're 14-26 (having lost eight of their last nine) and minus-7.2 points per 100 possessions against teams currently in playoff position.
Marc Stein, ESPN (11)
Is the fourth seed in the East, if you're the Nets, really where you want to be? Their reward is a likely first-round series with the Bulls, who'll surely make it a grind win or lose, followed by an unavoidable second-round date with Miami even if Brooklyn advances. No. 6 is truly more appealing.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (11)
The Nets, losers of five of their past eight home games, have a two-game lead over Chicago for the East's No. 4 seed. Both play two of their final six games against winning teams.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (9)
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (9)
That loss to the Bulls — very much a potential first round matchup — makes you wonder if the Nets can get out of the first round. They have struggled against NBA playoff teams all season long (14-26).
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (8)
I still can't figure out how to judge whether this season was a success for the Nets. If I were Mikhail Prokhorov, I would just pay someone to answer the question.
Sam Amico, FOX Sports (9)
Still too fickle to know what to expect from one night to the next. But as has always been the case with the Nets, the talent is certainly there.
Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News (9) published Friday
With their win in Cleveland the other night, the Nets clinched their first winning season on the road since joining the NBA in 1976-1977. They've got 21 road wins.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (11) published Friday
Brooklyn finished its longest road trip of the season at 5-3, but the three losses came to the three best teams (Clippers, Nuggets and Jazz) on the trip. Beating elite teams has been a problem for the Nets all season as they try to prove that they also belong in that category. The team is just 14-26 against teams currently projected to make the playoffs, a sign that the Nets can take care of business against the NBA's underlings, but aren't quite up to the task of facing better competition.