The Brooklyn Nets’ game Friday against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center means more than your usual December regular-season game for the Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets enter Friday riding a seven-game win streak and are set to face off against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are a half-game out of eighth place in the East and seem to be gunning for a playoff spot this season, a clear reversal from years past.
As reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Nets “are hinting in talks with teams they could be a buyer at the trade deadline”. If the Nets want to be buyers at the deadline, they must show that they can beat tough teams in the Eastern Conference like the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers come into Friday fourth in the East, one spot better than where they ended up at the end of last season.
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The Pacers are coming off two excruciating losses in back-to-back games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, two games in which missed calls by the referees cost them a chance at winning.
Last week, I published an article detailing trade possibilities the Nets could explore for Spencer Dinwiddie, but after winning four games in the last week, the conversation has shifted to the Nets possibly being active in the trade market to acquire players, rather than trade them away.
A win against one of the best teams in the East could signal more talk about the Nets acquiring players at the deadline, and show the organization that “the time is now”.
Yes, every win counts as much as the previous one, but wins against the best teams in the conference change the perception of the team to players around the league (*cough* free agents *cough*), that the team is ready to win now.
The Nets will be without Allen Crabbe, but most of this win streak has been without him anyway. After Friday, the Nets’ schedule softens as the Phoenix Suns come to town, followed by a home-and-home against the Charlotte Hornets.
A win against the Pacers Friday will signal that the Nets have arrived as we get closer to 2019.