Five in a row with the #1 ranked (in the East) Chicago Bulls next on the docket. Though, remember, the Nets beat the Bulls earlier this year well before Deron Williams was a twinkle in their eyes.
Al Iannazzone is talking confidence with Nets players, and he says they’re all acting and talking differently compared to a few weeks ago:
Earlier this season, after a good win or a good performance, some Nets talked about having a swagger and making a playoff run, but then would be crushed the next game or play with no energy. Reality slapped them hard in the face. Now, the Nets are talking and playing the part, starting with Lopez, but everyone is contributing in a major way, and they have to be taken seriously.
This is a huge stretch for the Nets coming up. How they do here will determine whether they have a real shot at the postseason. Of course, they need help from other teams, and the Knicks did themselves or the Nets no favors by dropping the last two games to the Pacers. The Nets sit six games out with 17 to play.
I love it. The postseason may be a long shot, but the Nets have forced themselves into the conversation because they got a favorable stretch of the schedule coming up and the teams in front of NJ, save for when they’re playing the allegedly “contending” Knicks, have some tough ones coming up. John Hollinger on Twitter yesterday predicted 13-4 should get the Nets close. Sure, why not?