The Brooklyn Nets don’t have a game on Thursday night. The players might spend the night with their families or go out and experience the nightlife in New York. Whatever the players decide to do tonight, they don’t have to play an NBA game. Despite the fact that they won’t touch the hardwood, the Nets can still lock-up a playoff spot.
Tonight the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Denver Nuggets in Colorado. The Sixers currently have a record of 26-41 while the Nets have a record of 40-28. If Philadelphia loses their game against Denver, that will mean that the best record that they could end the season with would be 40-42. That record is also the worst that the Nets could end the season with. Since the Nets own the tiebreaker with Philadelphia, a Sixers loss tonight would clinch a playoff-berth for Brooklyn.
This would be the first time since 2007 that the Nets franchise has made the NBA Playoffs. As it stands now they would not only make the playoffs, but have home-court advantage in their first round series. That’s a pretty notable accomplishment for this year’s Nets team to not only make the postseason for the first time in six years, but to be one of the four best teams in the Eastern Conference.
This is undoubtedly part of the plan that owner Mikhail Prokhorov had in mind when he paid to lock-up Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, as well as when he took on Joe Johnson’s enormous contract. He wanted to build a team that would be relevant, which essentially means a team that would make the playoffs and have a chance to make some noise. With a Sixers loss on Thursday night, the Nets will get that chance. Considering that the Nuggets are 30-3 at home this season, the best home-record in the league, it feels almost certain that Brooklyn will secure a place in the postseason tonight.