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Moral Victories Won’t Help Nets in the Standings

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


The Brooklyn Nets thought their upset win over the Houston Rockets last week would jump start their season, but as they continued on their three-game west coast road trip, they found out that their losses would only become more frustrating.

On Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, the Nets held the lead for the entire first half, taking a 60-54 lead into the break.  They were moving the ball well, committing fewer turnovers, and playing as a cohesive unit.  In the second half, Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins erupted for 30 of his 40 points on the night, while point guard Rajon Rondo added yet another triple-double, propelling them to victory.  Bojan Bogdanovic hit a jumper to bring the Nets to within two, 111-109.  Rondo committed a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, giving the ball back to Brooklyn with a chance to tie or win the game with 1.8 seconds remaining.  The Nets never got a shot off, and Rondo redeemed himself by deflecting the inbounds pass as time expired.  Just like that, it was over.  They lost by two in a game they could’ve won.

Things didn’t get any easier as the Nets faced the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in Oakland the very next night.  The Warriors have looked unstoppable as of late, entering the contest with a 10-0 record, but Brooklyn came out of the gate swinging, leading for most of the game.  In the fourth quarter, the Warriors battled back to force overtime.  Brook Lopez could’ve won the game for the Nets in regulation, but he missed a short jumper at the buzzer.  In the extra period, it was all Golden State, as Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala carried the Warriors to victory and to a perfect 11-0 record to start their title defense.

The Nets have definitely been playing better basketball as the season continues, but small moral victories aren’t going to help them in the standings.  Yes, they “almost” defeated two really good Western Conference teams, but almost does not cut it in the pros.  The Eastern Conference is much improved this season and if the team doesn’t start winning games soon, they could find themselves out of the playoff picture by the All-Star break.  They are currently in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, one game ahead of the winless Philadelphia 76ers.

I’m sure all Nets fans know this by now, but if the team misses the postseason for the first time since moving to Brooklyn, they will lose their first round lottery pick to the Boston Celtics.

The Nets look to get back in the win column when they face the Atlanta Hawks at home on Tuesday evening.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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