A lot has changed since Sunday. The Nets have reclaimed the fifth seed in the East and have picked up ground in the Atlantic Division.
As of Thursday morning, the Nets are two-and-a-half back of the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic. They have taken a half-game lead on the Washington Wizards for fifth place and are now two back of taking fourth place in the East. More importantly, home court advantage is in the team's sights.
Here are some important numbers for the Nets' in regards to their seeding.
Nets' magic number to clinch the playoffs: Seven
Nets' magic number to clinch the seventh seed: 10
Nets' magic number to clinch the sixth seed: 12
Nets' magic number to clinch the fifth seed: 15
The Nets' schedule becomes very light down the stretch. They play only four more playoff teams: Bobcats, Heat, Mavericks and Rockets; the Nets can beat up on inferior competition and continue to climb in the standings. The Nets are tied with Charlotte and Toronto for the easiest remaining schedule with their opponents having a combined winning percentage of 43%.
As for the teams they are jockeying for position with...
- The Raptors still are in the Atlantic Division lead, as mentioned before. They have two-and-a-half games on the Nets and do own the second tiebreaker, which is conference record. The Raps are 23-16 while the Nets are 20-20. Also mentioned earlier was that the Raptors have a very easy rest of the season, which is only 15 more games. It is doable, but the Nets have their work cut out for them.
- The Bulls are the fourth seed and also has a fair shot at holding onto that position. Their opponent's have a combined winning percentage of 45% the rest of the way and they won the tiebreaker against Brooklyn this season. The Bulls have 14 games left.
- The Wizards are now percentage points behind the Nets for fifth place. The Nets did lose the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Wizards, which could make things difficult down the stretch for Brooklyn to keep a hold of the fifth seed. The Wizard's remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of 47% and they only play 15 more games.
It might be too soon to rule them out, but after last night's victory over the Bobcats may give the Nets at least sixth place in the East. The Bobcats are now three-and-a-half behind Brooklyn. The Nets do have an easy schedule, but so do the teams they are contending with. Brooklyn needs to keep this hot streak up and take it into the playoffs where they may or may not have home court advantage.