There are certain things that are undeniable about the Nets current situation. They just beat, no demolished, the best team in the East before a sellout crowd at the United Center. They finished the month, 9-7, their first winning December in nine years, and decidedly better than their last two Decembers when they were 5-11 and 5-9. And they have won five of the last six, with a motley lineup amid trade rumors and injuries, in nine days. Not bad.
Now, the question is whether they can sustain their recent success, starting with Saturday's game against the Magic in Orlando.
Stefan Bondy thinks the key is whether the team has bought into what Lionel Hollins is selling.
From early on in his tenure, Hollins went with the strategy that he has to break down the players before building them back up to fit his image of the Nets. He did it with Mason Plumlee. He is trying it with Brook Lopez and Deron Williams...
There are now signs that the old-school coach is getting through to the most expensive roster in the NBA. This recent stretch has mostly occurred with a starting lineup that includes two players who Cleveland threw away to clear up space to sign LeBron James — Sergey Karasev and Jarrett Jack — along with 38-year-old Kevin Garnett.
Barbara Barker of Newsday says that if they can sustain things, this is the time to do it.
A win in Orlando on Friday would bring the Nets' record to .500 for the first time since Nov. 13, when they were 4-4. Five of the Nets' next six games are against teams with sub-.500 records, so there is an opportunity to get the new year off to a good start.
D-WIll was asked if indeed the win over Chicago could have a long-lasting impact.
"It can, but we got to keep going,'' Williams said. "We can't be content with this win.''
- Nets finally show signs of clicking under Lionel Hollins - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets hope to build on win over Bulls - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Why Lionel Hollins believes the Nets are ‘turning the corner' - Tim Bontemps - New York Post