Paul Pierce called out the Nets after their 101-94 loss to the Washington Wizards, imploring them to play with a sense of playoff urgency in the last month of the season:
“You’ve got two teams that are a game or a half a game apart,” Pierce said on Saturday of the Wizards and Nets. “I tried to express that to the guys in the locker room, ‘Hey, from here on out these games are like playoff games.’”
“Every day, every week, the standings are gonna be constantly changing,” Pierce continued. “It could mean the difference between having a Game 7 at home or a Game 7 on the road, so we have to take these games with a better sense of urgency from here on out.”
Via ESPN New York — Pierce sends playoff message to Nets
At 33-31, the Nets dropped from the fifth seed to sixth seed with the loss to the Wizards, and four games behind the Toronto Raptors for the Atlantic Division. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker over the Nets should they end the season with an identical record, effectively making it a five-game lead with only 18 games remaining for each team.
The top four teams in the Eastern Conference get home-court advantage. The Nets are three games behind the Chicago Bulls (37-29), who hold the fourth seed. But like the Raptors, the Bulls hold the tiebreaker over the Nets, making it a four-game lead for seeding purposes.