The Nets have been chasing the Raptors all season and are still three games behind them in the Atlantic Division, but they have to take one game at a time and remain focused. With Kevin Garnett sitting out another game there was great concern that the Nets will not be able to handle the upstart Raptors. Andrei Kirilenko sat out the game as well, but the Nets are showing the NBA they might have the deepest bench in the league.
Deron Williams continues to put up consistent numbers, and his backcourt mate Joe Johnson has found his way out of a shooting slump that has limited his contributions since the All-Star break. Shaun Livingston will have games where he can score 18 points like he did Monday night, but he is mostly used as a defensive force to handle quicker small forwards. There was a rare Alan Anderson sighting last night, but his contributions were another reason for how the bench can hurt opposing team in many ways.
The league may see the Atlantic Division as a five bottom-feeders, but this is still a division with great pride on the line. Two teams are fighting for playoff position, have wining records and a good chance to put a scare in Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers once the playoffs begin.
The Nets have figured out who they are as a team, and they are focused to end their season as Atlantic Division and NBA Champs.