Forget the loss to the Bucks, because despite the Pacers win over the Thunder the Nets still control their own destiny. Brooklyn came out and dropped an egg in Milwaukee, which isn't a great start to a back-to-back, but they can still bounce back and lock up a playoff spot.
Here are where the Nets stand heading into the final week of the season:
- Seventh seed is looking unlikely for Brooklyn. They now are a game back of Boston with two to play. The Celtics own the tiebreaker so the Nets need to win out and the Celtics need to lose to both the Raptors on Tuesday and the Bucks on Wednesday for the Nets to have a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. Not impossible, but the eighth seed seems to be the Nets only route.
- The Nets and Pacers are tied for eighth as of Monday morning, but the Nets have the all important tiebreaker. Indiana, winners of their past five, have shot back into the playoff race heading into the final two games and have put the pressure on Brooklyn. Indiana plays Washington Tuesday at home, and then travel to Memphis for their final game of the season. With the way the West is shaking out, expect Memphis to play all their starters in that game.
So, what about the Nets? They have two games left, one on Monday against Chicago, another against Orlando on Wednesday. Both are at the Barclays Center, where they are 18-21 on the season. It's pretty simple, if the Nets win both of their games this week, they are in the playoffs. If they drop one, they leave themselves open to dropping out of the playoffs and sending their lottery pick over to the Eastern Conference's best Atlanta Hawks. However, if both Brooklyn and Indiana go 1-1 this week, the Nets are in.
It's tense, but it's the playoffs, all the Nets got to do is win, baby.