With the exception of David Aldridge, all the other pundits this week have the Nets in the top 10. Despite two frustrating losses, Brooklyn is getting credit for surviving their grueling road trip, which still has a game left in Cleveland (if you count games between home games).
One pundit, Matt Moore of CBS, sums it up this way: "It's really not fair that they slip -- they played great on their road trip until the end. Just hit a rough part of the schedule late." John Hollinger's daily rankings has them at No. 10.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (10)
The Nets are one of only six teams with at least 20 road wins and need just one more for their first winning road record since they were in the ABA. But, playing without Joe Johnson, they ran out of gas at the end of their seven-game trip, losing in Denver and Utah over the weekend. Apparently, Reggie Evans, who has grabbed at least 16 rebounds in six of his last eight games, can only do so much.
David Aldridge, NBA/TNT (13)
Lost contact with the Knicks just when it looked like the Nets might be able to steal the Atlantic. Now the Nets have to scramble just to hold onto fourth place and home court in the first round against Atlanta or Chicago.
Marc Stein, ESPN (10)
The Nets surely will win in Cleveland to make it a promising 5-3 on their eight-game answer to Chicago's trademark Circus Trip and a tidy 31-6 against sub-.500 teams. The problem? New York's eight-game winning streak, after the team's three months of mediocrity, has decided the Atlantic Division.
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (11)
Basically out of the race for the East's top three seeds, the Nets are trying to hold off Atlanta and Chicago for the fourth seed and home court in the first round.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (9)
Reggie Evans is having his best season, which is dangerous for opponents' health.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (10)
The Nets are 4-3 on a big road trip that ends Wednesday in Cleveland. Looks more and more like they will host Chicago or Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs — series that wouldn’t shock me if they went either way.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (7)
It's really not fair that they slip -- they played great on their road trip until the end. Just hit a rough part of the schedule late.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (10) published Friday
We've given him some ink already this season, but Andray Blatche is really deserving of more considering the contributions he's making on a minimum salary. As Brooklyn's first big man off the bench, Blatche has averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. More important, he's shown that he can contribute to a winning team and not be an off-the-court distraction. His PER (22.5) trails only that of teammate Brook Lopez among centers.
Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News (7) published Friday
Except for slipping up against the Clippers, when Chris Paul outdueled Deron Williams in a classic fourth quarter, the Nets have been sailing along very nicely on their eight-game circus trip.