On one hand, the Nets have to be disappointed to find themselves battling for position in the play-in round, but on the other hand, they have to be happy that their fate is in their own hands the rest of the way.
Thanks to a win on Tuesday over the Houston Rockets and losses by Charlotte, Atlanta and Cleveland, the Nets could very well finish as the seventh seed in the East and host a play-in-round game in Brooklyn. Considering the Net had been looking at a finish as low as 10th and the need to win two single-elimination games just to make the first round, they’re not in a bad spot right now all things considered.
And it’s safe to say Brooklyn would rather finish in the top half of the play-in bracket. That means the Nets winning out their final few games of the regular season, which started Wednesday against the Rival New York Knicks.
“These next games are huge. We want to get to the seventh spot (where) we have a home game in the play-in,” Bruce Brown said. “That would be huge for us. We control our own destiny. We go out there, we play with energy, we fight. Reboud the ball, we’ll beat anybody, so we just have to come out with energy and play hard.”
As the old saying goes, what a difference a day can make, and the Nets have certainly proved that to be true. Brooklyn had started the week with them sitting in the 10th spot in the East and very possibly having to go through Charlotte and the winner of Cleveland versus Atlanta to make it to the playoffs.
Both Nets superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have said in recent days that it didn’t matter who the Nets faced in the play-in round. Though giving themselves the path of least resistance won’t hurt the Nets either.
“We obviously want to land a better spot than where we are now,” Irving said. “If other teams are helping us out then I’m grateful for that. … But this is a different scenario with this play-in tournament type deal. I don’t want to say it forces teams, but it puts you in a position where you have to rise your game up to the challenge. And we’ve faced teams where we’ve been on the other side of that, losing. Tonight getting a win and then seeing how kind of the uncontrollable outcomes of the other games impact us.
“We’d rather be in the driver’s seat and sit comfortably and be able to control our own destiny, and I think that’s where we’re most comfortable.”
As long as Brooklyn does that then they will remain in control of their fate without having to rely on anyone else. After the Knicks, the Nets host the Cavaliers in a showdown at Barclays Center and then cap the season off against the Indiana Pacers.