The first real power rankings are in —the ones based on games played— rather than punditry and the Nets, ranked in the bottom two in preseason predictions, have moved into the mid-20’s, mostly No. 25 or 26. In fact, one ranking has them all the way to No. 22! Oh, those pesky Nets.
The Nets will shoot themselves in and out of games. They went down double-digits in all three games last week, but came back each time (though they missed on both opportunities to make it all the way back from 23 down in Boston), averaging 34.0 points (133 per 100 possessions) in the fourth quarter. But even if they're a better team than we all expected, they won't deviate from their Spurs-esque plan to limit Brook Lopez's workload. He played just 47 total minutes in their first two games and didn't make the trip to Milwaukee on Saturday.
Kudos to Jeremy Lin, Kenny Atkinson, Sean Marks, et al. The Nets, widely billed as the league's worst team and favored in Las Vegas to be the last team on the NBA map to win a game this season, outscored the Pacers by a heady 31-15 in the fourth quarter Friday night to claim a W that (ever so briefly) hiked Brooklyn to the heights of .500. These are the same Pacers, yes, who are such a trendy pick to make a run at a top-four spot and home-court advantage in the first round of the East playoffs.
I have termed them "The Pesky Nets." They're not good, but they are pesky as all get out, as the Pacers found out. The coaches have put Jeremy Lin in a position to make the most of his talents and it's cool to see. Linsanity Redux!
Brook Lopez is already getting rest as part of his maintenance (or keep him healthy for a trade) program. They have been a strong fourth-quarter team behind Jeremy in, including a comeback win over the Pacers. This team can be entertaining, they need to prove they can be more than that this week hosting Chicago, Detroit, and Charlotte.
How low were expectations when a 1-2 start is considered a pleasant surprise? The Nets took down the Pacers and loss by a combined seven points on the road to the Celtics and Bucks.
They’ll be at home against the undefeated Bulls on Halloween.
The Nets’ opponents Monday are the fast-rising Bulls, who are ranked top 5 in most of the rankings.