The Brooklyn Nets continue to make their way up the Eastern Conference standings thanks to their composed play and shaky outings by other teams. Their win against the Boston Celtics was far greater than a revenge win. It placed the Nets only one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the fourth seed.
What the Nets have known all season, and what the rest of the NBA is now understanding, is that they are a deep team they can beat you in a number of ways. Any given night, any player from either the starting unit or the bench can lead them to victory. Against the Celtics, it was the sharp shooting of rejuvenated Joe Johnson who finished with a team high 27 points. Deron Williams played facilitator early on and was not focused to much on his own game after putting them on his back Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Ex-Celtic Paul Pierce was finally able to contribute against his former team with 14 points, while teammate Kevin Garnett missed another game due to back spasms. Jason Kidd is looking every bit like a seasoned vet on the sidelines, as he has guided his team to the best record in the Eastern Conference since Jan. 1. The Nets are playing basketball the right way as the season winds down. They have learned that you win with great ball movement, teamwork and stellar defense.
All the talk right now in New York is focused on the New York Knicks and their now eight game winning streak and the hiring of Phil Jackson. The Nets will continue to play the background and cruise into the playoffs while all the talk will remain on Carmelo Anthony and his failure to lead his team to the postseason as a one man show.
The Nets don’t need the spotlight on them on a constant basis. They look out for one another, and that’s the main ingredient for a championship contender.