It seems that everyone thinks the Nets shouldn't be in the playoffs ... and will be summarily dismissed by Hawks anyway. Pundits are disturbed that the Nets got in while the Thunder have gone fishing, Many of them want the playoffs changed as a result.
Bill Simmons of ESPN and Grantland is typical...
I'm gonna wander the streets and try to find the one person who's psyched that Brooklyn made the playoffs instead of OKC.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 16, 2015
Lionel Hollins has been lowering expectations as well, but that seems to be strategic in that he may be just trying to motivate his charges. "I don’t think we have any advantage over the Hawks," Hollins said in a conference call Thursday. "That’s why they’re 60 and whatever they are [60-22], and that’s why we are where we are. They have a very good team."
Bovada, the big Las Vegas oddsmaker, has the Nets at 75-1 to come out of the East, 200-1 to win it all.
Not everyone feels that way. Brad Daugherty, the former Cavs center now with ESPN...
"The Brooklyn Nets are a very talented basketball team. They haven't lived up to their expectations, they've underachieved but they've started to play a little bit better. Once you get into the post-season, it's a different season, just like Joe Johnson said. Brook Lopez is a problem for the Atlanta Hawks to defend. They've got great guard play in Williams. They've got all the intangibles to win basketball games and they got a heck of a basketball coach ... They could be a very dangerous basketball team."
Charles Barkley thinks people are underestimating the Nets as well, talking on a TNT conference call...
"I don’t think Brooklyn can beat them. But I think it can be a very interesting series.
"There’s teams you don’t want to play and there’s teams that you’re like, ‘OK, if we play well we can beat this team.’ Brook Lopez is going to be getting layups and dunks. Horford, who’s a terrific player, and Millsap, they’re going to be shooting jumpers. I just don’t like jump-shooting teams in a seven-game series."
Of course, back in 2002, Sir Charles picked the Nets to beat the Lakers and thought Keith Van Horn would be Finals MVP.
All the punditry is lost on Irina Pavlova. She even quotes Shakespeare's Hamlet in her hashtag.
Always chuckle when I see people spending time and energy passionately tweeting about how irrelevant the Nets are. #thoudothprotesttoomuch— Irina Pavlova (@ipavlova) April 17, 2015
It won't be long now. And do note this: over the last month of the regular season, the Nets in their big playoff push played nearly .700 basketball, going 13-6. The Hawks? Just .500 at 8-8.
- Charles Barkley is bullish on Nets - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Lionel Hollins' musings on Most Valuable Player - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Lionel Hollins trying to find way for Nets to compete against Hawks - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Hollins says Nets have nothing going for them against Hawks - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets a long shot, but Charles Barkley thinks they could upset Hawks - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Three things Nets must do to upset top-seeded Hawks - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- The 10 NBA playoff storylines that matter most - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Hollins: Nets don't 'have any advantage over the Hawks' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- First-round Eastern Conference matchup to watch (Video) - Brad Daugherty - ESPN
- Hollins On WFAN: There’s As Much Pressure On Nets As There Is On Hawks - Joe & Evan - WFAN
- Brooklyn Nets Made The Playoffs! Now, Can They Win A Game? - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- GEICO SportsNite: Nets prep for Hawks (Video) - SNY Nets
Nets-Hawks Playoff Preview: Do The Nets Have A Snowball's Chance In Kyle Korver's Shooting Hand? - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Hawks ready for playoffs with return of Millsap - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Barkley: Hawks will win opening series - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Hawks lose lottery pick but get better playoff match-up: Nets - Jeff Schultz - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Atlanta Hawks share playlists while preparing for NBA Playoffs - Melissa Ruggiero - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- PBT Extra: Can the Nets challenge the Hawks? (Video) - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Nets coach Lionel Hollins: ‘I don’t think we have any advantage over the Hawks’ - Brett Pollakoff - NBC Sports
- Lionel Hollins previews Nets-Hawks in one sentence - Rodger Sherman - SB Nation
- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports