The Nets played well enough last week to move up in a few power rankings. John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Marc Stein of ESPN and Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated all jumped Brooklyn multiple spots as they won two games against the Celtics and Pistons and played good enough to win --but didn't-- against Oklahoma City and Cleveland.
Schuhmann and Woo moved them to No. 25; Stein to No. 26. Schuhmann, founder of NetsDaily in a previous life, also followed up his weekend and is now referring to Lionel Hollins as the "apparently apathetic coach" of the Nets, following his "analyze this" comments.
Power rankings are getting a bit confusing this season. Yahoo! Sports aren't ranking teams on their successes or failures, but how "interesting" they are. Wonder how long that will last. Also, this week, we include HoopsHabit's double-barreled rankings, for this season (28) and for five years from now (30) as they follow ESPN into the dark world of future power rankings. Like others, HoopsHabit makes note of the Nets draft pick deficit.
Here ya go... We won't say "Enjoy!"
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (25)
The Nets have remained competitive against a pretty tough schedule, despite Lionel Hollins' apparent apathy when faced with the task of figuring out how to make his team better. After an ugly first seven games, they've been outscored by just 2.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 10, with seven of those games on the road and seven against teams currently over .500.
Marc Stein, ESPN (26)
Twenty-one points, 20 boards and seven assists for Ben Simmons, on the Nets' floor, in a season where those Nets have to convey their top pick to Boston ... all that was only the week's first dose of cruel. But give it up for the Brooklynites: They couldn't have responded better to a heartbreaker in Cleveland than stunning Detroit the next night.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (28)
They haven't been as bad over the past two weeks. They've gone from "make your eyes water and force wretching" bad to just "you should keep an air-freshener available" bad.
Eric Freeman, Yahoo! Sports (30)
The Nets are more boring than terrible — they can beat other bad teams and look much better than the Sixers and Lakers right now. They rank last only because those other sorry squads are facing particularly interesting weeks.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (28)
They have played hard and hung around in games, then picked up a win against Detroit. But can they get one "one the road" Friday in Manhattan against the Knicks (who have struggled of late)?
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (25)
The Nets are alive, and have been largely competitive since getting win No. 1 under their belt—sometimes life just gives you LeBron James buzzer beaters. They’ve gotten strong play out of Thaddeus Young and Jarrett Jack and jumped out of the bottom tier accordingly. For now, at least.
Adi Joseph, USA Today (28)
They play well against the better teams in the league
Gerard Bourgeut, Hoops Habit (28)
The Brooklyn Nets actually played .500 basketball over the last week, notching a surprising win over the Hawks and splitting a home-and-away with the Celtics. But the franchise reached a depressing new low when Boston fans started chanting "BROOK-LYN DRAFT PICKS!" with their team up 24.
Getting revenge on the Celtics probably felt great after that incident, but Nets fans have very little to look forward to with the knowledge that their 2016 first-round pick – which will likely be a top-5 selection – is making like the Dropkick Murphys and shipping up to Boston…along with their 2017 and 2018 first rounders as well.
Ti Windisch, Hoops Habit (30)
The Nets are hopeless. Brooklyn hardly has any of their draft picks over the next five years, and barely has any young talent to boot. Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez are the best Nets by far, but neither of them are going to make Brooklyn decent anytime soon.
Brooklyn is in the toughest of spots — they need to rebuild, but have no way to do so. The Nets will try to win because they have no choice, but they won’t be able to. Lopez and Young will probably have to be flipped for draft picks eventually, but that will make the team even worse in the meantime.
This situation is brutal, and there’s no quick or easy way out. Brooklyn is a cautionary tale in going all-in with a win now philosophy — no trade is worth a team giving away their entire future.