It’s going to be a tough slog to get the Nets out of the Power Rankings basement. Before last night’s win over the Grizzlies, all the pundits had the Nets at No. 30 for what seems to be months. (It’s just one month).
There was a lot of sarcastic comments this week about the Nets win over the Kings (we’re looking at you, Marc Stein) and the no-name roster (you, too, Matt Moore.)
Next week should be interesting. The Nets have won two of their last four and will be home after a 16-day, eight-game, two back-to-back road trip. It will be hard to ignore that, right?
The Nets put an end to their 16-game losing streak in Sacramento on Wednesday with strong starts to the first and third quarters from their new starting lineup, which has otherwise struggled defensively (allowing 125 points per 100 possessions in its 34 minutes). Jeremy Lin has shot 9-for-16 from 3-point range since his return, but is on a minutes limit and opposing guards scorched the Nets in Utah and Portland over the weekend. The latter loss was their 20th straight (a streak that goes back to last January) in the second game of a back-to-back. They have three more back-to-backs this season and three more games on their eight-game trip.
The Nets sure showed us, didn't they? After going winless since Jan. 20 and enduring a bunch of snide barbs from the Committee in last week's comment space, Brooklyn dug out a 109-100 victory in Sacramento to ensure that it would not go winless on this seemingly interminable eight-game road trip. The Kings, of course, not-so-secretly want to be losing games these days to ensure that they finish in the top 10 in the lottery in May to avoid being forced to convey their first-round pick in June to Chicago. But don't be a hater and dwell on the details. The poor Nets went nearly 40 days without a win of any kind and still have three stops to go on this brutal trip (Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas) before they get to rediscover the comforts of home.
Be honest. If I made up a player's name for the Nets and gave you his advanced stats, you wouldn't be able to refute his existence with 100 percent certainty, would you?
They snapped their losing streak at 16 games with a win over the Cousins-less Kings. Take it where you can get it. Their offense looks improved when Jeremy Lin is on the court, but right now that’s limited (minutes restriction). The Nets are 1-4 on their current road trip with three more games to go, then they return home to play the Knicks (which always feels like a road game for Brooklyn).
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (30)
The Nets ended that nasty 16-game losing streak in Sacramento and Jeremy Lin is back healthy and producing. A positive week for Brooklyn, although it produces no shift in these rankings.
Jeff Zillgitt et al, USA Today (30)
The Nets snapped a 16-game losing streak (two games short of the franchise record for consecutive losses) with a 109-100 win over the Kings on Wednesday night
Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report (30)
The Brooklyn Nets released Luis Scola, which will probably be news to the vast majority of readers who had no idea Luis Scola played for the Brooklyn Nets (or the NBA anymore).
And that, friends, is the most newsworthy item concerning the NBA's worst team: the waiver of a 36-year-old journeyman*. Unless you consider beating the dismantled Sacramento Kings for win No. 10 on the season a newsworthy item.
Brooklyn has maintained a stranglehold on the No. 30 spot for several weeks, and even as a couple of other bottom-feeding teams head into the stretch run dramatically weakened, it remains difficult to envision a scenario in which somebody else occupies this space.
There's room for moderate long-term optimism in light of the deadline moves that netted a first-round pick and a flier on K.J. McDaniels. But in the present, Brooklyn is still dead last in wins and net rating.
Expect to see these guys here the rest of the way.
Jeremy Lin is back, playing in the Brooklyn Nets’ last five games, and his 17 points against Sacramento helped the Nets finally reach double digits in the win column and snap a league-worst 16-game losing streak.
Since then, it’s been a return to the status quo, however: Two double-digit losses despite emerging players like Isaiah Whitehead, Quincy Acy, Sean Kilpatrick, Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson trading off decent performances.