Nets clinch playoff spot for first time since 2007

The 40-28 Brooklyn Nets have clinched their first playoff berth since the 2006-2007 season Thursday night, thanks to a collapse by the Philadelphia 76ers, who blew an eight-point lead with under three minutes left to lose to the Denver Nuggets, 101-100. A 76ers loss, as noted by the Nets today, means the Nets have officially clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs.

The Nets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006-07, sneaking in that season as a sixth seed with a 41-41 record, upsetting the Toronto Raptors before losing in the second round to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the eventual Eastern Conference Champions. As someone who was at every home playoff game that year, they never stood a chance, and fans heading for the exits after Game 6 clamored for Vince Carter to be traded. (Honestly, LeBron James was just too good, even then.)

From 2007-08 through the 2011-12 season, the Nets suffered five consecutive losing seasons, including a 12-70 campaign in 2009-10 that nearly wiped Nets fans entirely out of existence. Their combined record in those five years: 126-268.

The New York Knicks, despite having a better record percentage-wise than the Nets, have yet to officially clinch a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker rule. The Nets hold the tiebreakers over both Philadelphia and Toronto should they finish the season with identical records, but the Knicks only hold the tiebreaker over Philadelphia. The Knicks will clinch a spot with another win or a Toronto Raptors loss.