The Brooklyn Nets are like a plastic bag being buffeted by the wind. There's zero certainty as to where they're going to end up as they've lost control of their own destiny following two consecutive blowout losses to the Bucks and Bulls.
With two games left, they'll need the Pacers to lose one of their two remaining games against the Wizards (at home Tuesday) and Grizzlies (in Memphis Wednesday) to clinch the eighth seed. If the Pacers just lose one of the two, and the Nets win their last game against Orlando, the Nets would own the tiebreaker and face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
So the Pacers are in the drivers' seat now. They control the fate of what happens with the eighth seed as the teams take it until the very last day of the season. What hope do the Nets have?
John Wall is someone who the Nets once thought could be the franchise savior after a dreadful 12-70 season. And while the Wizards have already locked up the fifth seed in the East, Wall and his teammates have some leftover feelings from last season's playoffs that ended in a second round exit against the Indiana Pacers in six games.
"Oh definitely. We know we have a rivalry with them," Wall said. "We feel like we owe them from last year and they're a team that's fighting and we want to show that we can beat them."
And his coach agrees...but for different reasons.
Wittman: "It’s the last 2 gms of the yr, we’re going 2 either b playing Sat or Sun 2 start the playoffs so U want to stay in a good rhythm."— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) April 14, 2015
The two rival teams played a few weeks back, where the Wizards had a chance to extend Indiana's losing streak to seven, but George Hill put home a game-winning layup in the final seconds.
Things are quite different for Indy since that game. They're now on a five-game win streak with Paul George back in the lineup after suffering a horrific leg injury over the summer.
"They came here and won a tough game last time," Wall said, "so we're going to try to go out there and have a good game."
Of course this could be great news for the Nets ... if Wizards coach Randy WIttman goes along. At least there's some hope even if they don't control their fate. They'll need some generosity fromCavaliers., who could argue that sitting key players on the front end of a back-to-back makes sense. The second game of that back-to-back comes Wednesday against the
Wall doesn't have any plans of backing down, despite the tough schedule and despite the nonexistent factors riding into this game. He wants to ruin Indiana's season.
"Like teams spoiled it for me my first three years," he said.
He wasn't the only one. Bradley Beal feels the same...
Beal on tonight: "They knocked us out last year and that’s on our mind. We’re going to try to knock them out this year."— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) April 14, 2015
Bless both of them! And their coach!
The Wizards and Pacers will square off at 8:00pm EST on TNT. We will have a game thread here on NetsDaily to talk basketball and see where the Nets stand by Wednesday.