Upcoming Schedule Favorable for Nets


The toughest team on the schedule this month has been defeated…and it’s only March 4th. Monday night, Brooklyn pulled off an impressive upset against arguably the best team in basketball. By knocking off the Warriors, paired with a gritty road win in Dallas on Saturday, the Nets are back in the 8th seed for the time being.

Three games separate the 7th and 12th seeds. Now is the time for Brooklyn to seize the opportunity and gain some distance from their competition. After a grueling February (featuring only two home games) resulted in a surprising 6-5 record, Brooklyn kept the momentum going last night as Jarrett Jack and company shocked Golden State.

The main reasons? Brooklyn is beating the sub-.500 teams and are playing up to their competition consistently over the past few weeks. Can the Nets keep this strong play up? We can’t say for sure but they certainly have the capability and it was on full display Monday night.

After defeating the Warriors, the rest of the month for Brooklyn gets significantly easier in terms of win percentage. Four games are left on the current homestand against, all against non-playoff teams including Charlotte who’s jockeying with the Nets for the final playoff spot.

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Following their stretch at home, Brooklyn travels to Miami, Philly, Minnesota and Cleveland in succession with an urgency to take advantage against bottom feeders like the Sixers and T’Wolves.

The most pivotal game occurs when the Nets take on the Heat, who sit right above Brooklyn in the playoff picture. This game will be the second night of a back-to-back as they look to avoid a season sweep at the hands of Miami.

Brooklyn faces their main competition in the East to end the month as they take on Indiana twice with stops in Boston and Charlotte as well. In order to keep pace for a playoff spot, an over-.500 March is a necessity.

Granted, they take on the Cavaliers twice in March but those prove to be the toughest opponents left. Over the last two seasons however, Brooklyn has posted a combined record of 20-11, proving to be pivotal in their push towards the playoffs.

The contributions of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez since the All-Star break are on full display, as both seem re-energized playing their best basketball of the season. Rookie Markel Brown and newly acquired Thaddeus Young made immediate impacts when receiving additional playing time. Lionel Hollins finally possesses a smaller, athletic lineup that is giving opponents fits trying to contain them.

“This is definitely the start. When you win games like this, people take notice. They keep coming back, and eventually they start rooting for you versus the other team.” – Lionel Hollins

Brooklyn is outscoring opponents by six points a contest in their 6 games after the All-Star break and their rejuvenated, up-tempo style has creating more opportunities on offense. On defense, they’ve forced opponents into taking more jump shots while stifling the opposition around the basket.

The Nets must continue to use their athleticism to create havoc on defense and kickstart the transition offense. Their newfound ability to get up and down the court is a refreshing sight for fans but Brooklyn will need to maintain this style of play for the remainder of the year. After the trade deadline passed, Nets players let out a collective sigh of relief and are now showing the capability of a less “stressed” ball club.

Coming off a tightly contested win against the Lakers, the Hornets are at the Barclays Center tonight. The winner of tonight’s game moves into the 8th seed but will surely change over the stretch run. Be sure to check back in with From Russia With Dunk for everything Nets to rest of the way.

Go Nets.