After a brief hiatus, I am finally getting around to posting the 4th and final part of the schedule breakdown. Since it has been a little while since the last one, let's take a quick look at where we are. After 60 games, I have the Nets with a 22-38 record. Before I started this, I said I think the Nets could win anywhere from 30-35 games, and to get to 30 the Nets are going to have to go 8-14 over the final 22 to get to 30. After the jump, see if I think they can do it.
Fri March 05 vs Orlando
Hey look! Vince Carter returns to New Jersey after his opening day return. Now depending on how Courtney Lee plays we could be begging Vince to come back, or we can say "Hey Vince, it was nice when you were here, but we like Courtney now." I am hoping it is the second option. For this game though, Vince Carter puts up one of his big games against his former teams. Magic win. (22-39).
Sat March 06 @ New York
I think every game that the Nets have against the Knicks are on the weekend. That's smart, because nobody is really going to go out of their way to come to these games if they got stuff going on during the week. In the final "Please come here LeBron" match up, the Nets win, proving that New Jersey is a better landing spot for LeBron rather than New York. (23-39).
Mon March 08 @ Memphis
Whenever I get down on the Nets during the rebuilding process, I like to look at Memphis. It reminds me that things could be worse for the Nets. I mean they are drafting talent (excluding Hasheem Thabeet), but it seems to me they don't really have a plan. You know the Nets have one...develop a young core and add to it. Like I always say, "In Rod I Trust!" Nets win. (24-39)
Wed March 10 @ Dallas
Remember when this was the big former Net match-up? Jason Kidd is aging, and the toughest matchup for him is a speed guy, which is what Devin is. Also, Devin Harris seems to like thumbing his nose at the Mavs front office for trading him. Devin goes off and the Nets win. (25-39).
Fri March 12 @ Oklahoma City
Boy Oklahoma City is going to be tough this year. I was hoping we would get our games with them out of the way early, because as the season goes on, they are going to learn how to play with each other and turn into a real scary team. It would surprise me if they go on a big (7+) winning streak during the second half. Thunder win. (25-40).
Sat March 13 @ Houston
We already know that Yao is out for the year, but will Tracy make it this deep into the season? I am saying yes. I think he is going to have a big year this year. There isn't any numbers to prove it. I don't have a theory either, but it is just one of those gut things, you know? Raptors win. (25-41).
Tue March 16 vs Atlanta
Now that the Hawks have a young and quick point (no disrespect to Mike Bibby), this team is going to fly up and down the court. Now they aren't going to be like the Warriors (because they actually play some defense), but it is going to be fun to watch. Especially when they play a team like the Nets, who will probably be running too. Hawks win a close game, ensuring the Nets a losing record this year. (25-42).
Wed March 17 @ Philadelphia
Thaddeus Young is a beast man. He is the type of player I like to see at the 4 position. Someone who is physically tough, rebounds like mad, and can score when needed. If the Sixers can get their PG situation settled, they are going to have a deep run in the playoffs. Sixers win. (25-43).
Sat March 20 vs Toronto
Like I said earlier, this game has no pizazz anymore. Looking through the Raptors roster, I did notice that Rutgers great Quincy Douby plays for them. That can make for some fun heckling...if he gets in the game. Nets win. (26-43).
Mon March 22 vs Miami
Dwyane Wade has already said he won't be coming to New Jersey, but he did compliment the front office. I don't think this is a back-handed compliment because he had no motive to be nice to the Nets. It sort of came out of nowhere...the Heat win, Wade hits a big shot late. (26-44).
Wed March 24 vs Sacramento
Remember what I said about the Grizzlies? Yeah, you can replace them with the Kings and it is basically the same thing. Although Tyreke Evans is my ROY sleeper. Nets take this one. (27-44).
Fri March 26 vs Detroit
Watching Rip Hamilton is so much fan to me. Sure, I can do without the mask, but in my opinion, Rip is the best at moving without the ball since Reggie Miller. Even though he has lost a few steps, it is still ridiculous how many open shots he gets just by running defenders into screens. Hamilton has a big night and the Pistons win. (27-45).
Sat March 27 @ Chicago
Not only is this a match-up between two great point guards, but this is also a match-up of two underachieving 4s. You already know about Yi, but Tyrus Thomas was supposed to be the next big thing. He is an athletic freak, but still hasn't figured out how to play off the ball defense. While he shows flashes of athleticism on the defensive end, Thomas tends to settle for jumpers a little too much...sound familiar? Bulls win. (27-46).
Mon March 29 vs San Antonio
Do you think Gregg Popovich is going to grow that beard again? I sure hope he does. Spurs win. (27-47).
Wed March 31 vs Phoenix
If Amar'e Stoudemire isn't traded by now, he is going to be a free-agent next year. I don't know if it makes sense to go after him if you are the Nets, but imagine how fun it could be to watch teams try to stop both Brook and Amar'e. It would be nuts. Nets win. (28-27).
Sat April 03 vs New Orleans
Chris Paul and Devin Harris should have been one of those jersey match-ups. Two of the quickest points with the ball. Hornets win. (28-48).
Sun April 04 @ Washington
The Wizards just seem like a fun team. Sure, everyone knows Gilbert, but Nick Young, Caron Butler, and JaVale McGee are fun guys too. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to be a beat writer for them. Wizards win. (28-49).
Wed April 07 @ Milwaukee
At this point of the season, these two teams are probably going young. That means you will probably be seeing a whole lot of Brendan Jennings vs. Terrence Williams. You think Joe Budden is going to show up? Nets win. (29-49)
Fri April 09 vs Chicago
Remember when people though Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry were going be the next twin towers? Boy were they wrong. During the really bad years, it seemed like the Bulls were always a year behind the drafting fad. They drafted Chandler and Curry the year after a few high-schoolers made a splash, and then they drafted someone named Dalibor Bagaric in the first round the year after the European fad got big. Bulls win. (29-50).
Sat April 10 @ Indiana
Danny Granger is good, but not good enough to beat the Nets by themselves. Nets win. (30-50).
Mon April 12 vs Charlotte
Larry Brown still coaches the Bobcats right? I really think he is going to get this team going the right way this year. They will make the playoffs within the next 3 years. Bobcats win. (30-51).
Wed April 14 @ Miami
Can we call Beasley a bust yet? Personally I say no, but who knows where his head is at right now. Heat win. (30-52).
Well, there you have it, 30 wins for the Nets. Right at the low end of my original prediction before looking at the schedule. What do you guys think? Later today, I am going to take a look at another way to predict wins by using advanced statistics, stay tuned.