With tonight's 98-86 victory over the Orlando Magic, the Brooklyn Nets now have a record of 11-4, which is their best start after 15 games in franchise history. The Nets started 10-5 in each of their back-to-back Finals years in the early 2000s, but have never won 11 of their first 15 games.
They've beaten really bad teams (#HelloOrlando, three times), but have also taken down the Knicks, the Clippers, and the Celtics twice. What's even more encouraging is that, other than the 30-point blowout loss against the Miami Heat, the Nets had a chance to win every game this season. You could argue that they weren't winning the game against the Golden State Warriors, but the loss to the Los Angeles Lakers could have easily gone the other way, and the loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves came after blowing a 22-point lead.
The Nets struggled early on finding a defensive synergy, but every game has seen them take a few steps closer to that -- after tonight's game, they're now tied with the Philadelphia 76ers at 10th in the NBA in defensive rating, with an even 100 points allowed per 100 possessions. They're 7th in the NBA in offensive rating, scoring 104.6 points per 100 possessions.
The Nets aren't the best team in the East -- and they'll have a challenge tomorrow night against that Miami squad again. But after 15 games, I'll gladly take 11-4 and tied atop the Atlantic Division.
Bring on the final 67!