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Power Rankings - Grit is its own reward

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Power Rankings Monday is here. Not a lot of news other than the pundits are near unanimous in their belief that the Nets are making slow but steady progress. They remain in the 23 to 25 range for the most part. No news is good news.

And if you want a stark reminder of how bad your team has been early, AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today has it for you. “The Nets have seven wins before December for the first time since 2012.”


John Schuhmann, (23)

The last five games have been the Nets' best offensive stretch of the season, with them scoring 110 points per 100 possessions against four top-12 defenses and the improving Cavs. But getting stops remains problematic (they rank 27th over that same 10-day stretch) and the offense hasn't been so potent down the stretch of close games. Since D'Angelo Russell's knee injury (and including the game in which he was hurt), the Nets are 0-5 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes, shooting 6-for-22 in the clutch over that stretch. After they visit the Rockets, they'll get a chance to improve the defensive numbers with five straight games against bottom-10 offenses.

Jose DeLeon, ESPN (25)

The Nets had a six-point lead with less than 2:30 to play in their loss against the Trail Blazers on Friday. Brooklyn became the third team to lose a game despite holding a six-point lead in the final 2:30 of a game this season, joining the 76ers and Wizards, who both have two such losses.

Chris Barnewall, CBS Sports (25)

The Nets' band of castoffs may have been the team to put the nail in the coffin for the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol era.

AJ Neuharth-Keusch, USA Today (23)

The Nets have seven wins before December for the first time since 2012 — a feat in and of itself considering the losses of D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin.

Kenny Ducey, Sports Illustrated (25)

Sean Marks should get a medal for turning Justin Hamilton into two picks and DeMarre Carroll.

Also worth noting:

Good job all around!

Sean Deveney, The Sporting News (23)

Quarter-season surprise: They’ve established a style of play and are fun to watch, running the fastest pace in the league, 105.72 possessions per 48 minutes. They’ve had tough luck with injuries, but have been better than expected despite them.

Quarter-season disappointment: We only got to the see the backcourt of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell together for 25 minutes before Lin’s season ended with an Achilles injury. They were 25 good minutes, though, as the pair combined to score 48 points, and the Nets put up 131.

Tommy Beer, RotoWorld (25)

Spencer Dinwiddie has done his best to keep the shorthanded Nets afloat as they deal with an onslaught of injuries. Over his last six games, Dinwiddie is averaging 16.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.7 treys.

There are a few stragglers, but we decided to post now, before the Nets play again. When Bleacher Report and NBC Sports get it together, we’ll update things.