The Brooklyn Nets have quietly been competing in the Eastern Conference for the three-seed NBA Playoffs over the past few weeks. They have been sneaking up on the Indiana Pacers, though no one has taken a whole lot of notice. However, those hopes ended on Sunday afternoon with their loss to the Toronto Raptors.
This loss to Toronto leaves the Nets two games behind the Pacers with just two games remaining in the regular season and with Indiana owning the tie-breaker. The silver lining in this, though, is the fact that Brooklyn has the four-seed in the East already locked up and will have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The dilemma that the Nets now face is how they should handle their roster over their two remaining regular season games. Should they continue playing all of their star players so that they could potentially get into a rhythm going into the postseason or should they rest their players so that they are sure to be healthy when the playoffs begin?
As the Nets stand now, the latter of those options seems like the smart one. Deron Williams aggravated an already sore knee on Sunday against the Raptors. The struggling Gerald Wallace has missed the last two games already with a leg injury. Joe Johnson has been playing with a sore heel for the past month or so. They have nicks and bruises all over their roster to key players that they need to be healthy.
The Nets are going to be back in the playoffs for the first time in a while, but they need to make sure that they are healthy when they get there. That’s why they have to make the decision to rest guys like Williams, Johnson and even Brook Lopez over their remaining games. It’s the smart move and it will give them the best chance at success.