BROOKLYN NETS - Wizards, Bobcats, and Raptors, Oh My!
The Brooklyn Nets are now the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference standings. Entering Wednesday night's game, the 7th seeded Bobcats posed the latest threat to the Nets. With a 104-99 victory over Charlotte at Barclays, the Nets have now created a 3.5 game cushion between them. Sneaking in between however, lay the bothersome 6th seeded Washington Wizards. The 8th seeded Atlanta Hawks round out the first division.
In the Atlantic Division race, the Nets have closed to within 2.5 games of the first place Toronto Raptors.
Wednesday night at Barclays, Angry Deron held an encore performance. Still steaming over his play in Washington, Deron led all scorers with 25 points, and clawed up the Bobcats with 11 points in the final quarter. Deron also distributed a game high 8 assists. He was a perfect 6/6 from the charity line, 3/5 from beyond the arch, and 8/15 from the field. His performance came on the heels of a 28 point night against the Suns.
Mason Plumlee continues to put in effective work. Sure he's raw, but he's not getting outclassed. He chipped in 11 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. It was actually Joe Johnson who led the Nets with 8 rebounds, and was second to Williams with 20 points.
Shaun Livingston was 3rd high score for Brooklyn with 17 points. The more he excels, the least likely chance the Nets have of retaining him. He is going to parlay this season with Brooklyn into handsome free agent dollars.
A big factor in Brooklyn's victory - they only turned the ball over 7 times. The Bobcats turned it over 15 times which yielded the Nets 21 points, and they scored another 12 points off fast breaks.
Without Kevin Garnett however, team rebounding continues to be an issue. This time, the Bobcats out-rebounded the Nets by a considerable 51-39 margin. It doesn't seem to be slowing the Nets down much though. During Garnett's 10 game absence, Brooklyn is 8-2 in March, and remain the hottest team of the new calender year. This was additionally Brooklyn's 10th consecutive victory at home.
The Nets will host the Celtics on Friday before hitting the road for three games, concluding with another game against the Bobcats in Charlotte.
The Nets have 16 games left in the regular season.