The Nets have looked dead in the water more than once this season, but they appear to be peaking at the right time. They’ve won seven of their past nine games, including a morale-boosting victory on Friday against the Cavaliers.
Brooklyn’s final 10 games of the regular season include four matchups with sub-.500 clubs — including the Knicks and Pacers tonight. The Nets also host the struggling Raptors and Wizards and will play a pair of games against a Hawks team that’s keen on resting its starters with the Eastern Conference’s top seed sewn up. The other two are at Barclays Center against the Trail Blazers and Bulls, both solid playoff teams.
Since the All-Star break, the Nets are 11-9 — good enough for the fifth-best mark in the conference. They find themselves in line for the No. 8 seed, but could realistically finish as high as sixth or as low as 11th, depending on how the final half-month shakes out.
Only time will tell how the home stretch goes, but trends since All-Star Weekend can be helpful to project the final standings. With a .550 winning percentage in that time, the Nets could be expected to win five or six of their remaining games — a favorable schedule makes six sound realistic.
If trends hold, Brooklyn would finish at 38-44 with sole possession of the final playoff spot, one game ahead of the Pacers and Celtics and just a game behind the Heat and Bucks for the Nos. 6 and 7 seeds. The Nets can take seven or eight of their final 10 and possibly finish sixth, avoiding facing Atlanta or Cleveland in the opening round.
March Madness may be winding down, but April should be pretty wild in Kings County.