We're sort of confused about Power Rankings. We thought they were a measure of who the best teams have been over the past week. But apparently not. Maybe they're cumulative rankings based on recent records beyond the past week.
The Nets have the best record in the East in 2014 (27-10) and for the month of March (11-2).. They were won four straight last week and 11 straight at home, both bests in the East. That should be enough, one would think, for a big jump in rankings. Not so. Some still have the Nets in the middle of the pack.
Cumulative rankings that take into account the whole year? Future rankings based on injury concerns or likelihood of post-season succcess? Neither seem to be in line with a need for weekly rankings.
Two pundits, Matt Moore of CBS Sports and Tim Bontemps of the Post think it should be based on the week and rank the Nets No. 2 and 3. Unconventional by taking the conventional approach? Two others have them in the top ten: John Schuhmann of NBA.com at No. 10 and Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated at No. 9.
In another oddity, only three mention Jason Kidd's role in the team's success. A CBS Sports host said Kidd is "ostensibly" guiding the team. Really!? The rookie coach has done amazing things the last three months with a roster that's been hit by injury after injury. He's been unconventional, outside the box in the development of long ball or small ball or whatever ball you want to call it. He doesn't seem to care who plays or who doesn't and that's become the team's identity, a shared philosophy of unselfishness. Does anyone realize how hard that is?
That said, here are the rankings...
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (10)
The Nets are 27-10 since Jan. 1 and 11-2 since getting their butts kicked in Portland a month ago. Sunday's comeback win in Dallas is another sign that they have some toughness under Jason Kidd, even without Kevin Garnett for the last 12 games. Mason Plumlee (who had a double-double against his brother on Monday) has filled in well, but KG's back issues are obviously a big concern.
Marc Stein, ESPN (11)
No one can tell you when Kevin Garnett and his bad back will be back in the lineup and Andrei Kirilenko is ailing anew after tweaking an ankle. But the five-game Atlantic Division deficit faced by the small-balling Nets when 2014 began is down to a game and a half thanks to this 11-2 surge.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (14)
With Kevin Garnett still sidelined, the Nets have won four straight games. Brooklyn is 11-2 in March and 27-10 in 2014.
The Nets have won four straight games and are making a hard charge for a top four seed in the Eastern Conference. Joe Johnson is still Joe Cool:
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (2)
I mean, they're playing well, but they can't win the title. Right? I mean. They can't. Right? Right? What am I saying? Of course they can't. ... Right?
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (11)
That they continue to win (four in a row) without Kevin Garnett is impressive. Mason Plumlee is playing well and the Nets are showing the kind of resilience they didn’t last season (when the shorthanded Bulls knocked them out of the first round of the playoffs). Like I said, it’s been impressive and Jason Kidd deserves some credit here. But they still need KG back for the playoffs.
Jimmy Spencer, FOX Sports (14)
Kevin Garnett is out another week due to continuing back spasms. At this point, it makes sense to mostly ice Garnett until the postseason. The Nets are winning without him, and he can shake any rust in the final week of the regular season.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (9)
Jason Kidd has a pretty good 41st birthday: His Nets won their fourth straight game, an OT victory in his return to Dallas to sweep the season series against the Mavericks. Best of all? The ice water his players dumped on him after the game. It's amazing how winning can bring a team together.
Brian Kamenetzky, Sheridan Hoops (15)
Haven’t lost at home since Jan. 31 vs. OKC. How’s that for incentive to rise up to the fourth seed? Definitely still have a shot.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (14)
They somehow have a better record against the West (15-11) than the East (21-20).
Tim Bontemps, New York Post (3)
With four wins in a row, 11 in their last 13 and a 27-10 record since the start of 2014, it’s becoming hard to argue with the run of success the Nets have put together.
Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News (12)
Here's how it works around here: The Knicks grab all the back page headlines and Jason Kidd's team just keeps winning. They're 25-10 since Jan. 1.
And yes, we were off last week. Vacation and family calls. Besides there was little change.