The Nets Dumped Steve Nash. Should It Have Been Kyrie Irving?
The Nets are out of the playoff conversation, which they probably should be. The New Orleans Pelicans were two games above.500 last week, and they’re up to four games over.500 since the All-Star break. They could beat the Heat in Miami this, and then on Christmas they could beat the Hawks in Atlanta. They have a three-game lead over the Heat in the division. It seems like a lot to overcome, right?
The Nets are out of the playoff conversation, which they probably should be.
“There are no easy games,” coach Lionel Hollins told reporters after the Nets’ 124-120 shootout win over the Pelicans on Wednesday night. “There are games that we like to win, but the one thing I think is important is that you win every game you play. That’s what the goal is. We just have to be in the right frame of mind.”
And here’s the thing: What a lot of people don’t understand about teams like the Nets (and the Heat) is that even after losing eight of 11 and 11 of 13 in the first two weeks of the season, those teams are still in the playoff conversation. It’s just that they aren’t the ones in the picture.
“No question, I don’t blame them,” one Eastern Conference front office executive told me. “Even with the way they got beat up the first two weeks of the season, they would be much farther ahead of where they are now if it wasn’t for them losing those first two games.”
If you want to get technical, losing eight of 10 games doesn’t make the Heat a good team. It makes them one of the top five teams in the league. They’re still not a top-six team. They don’t have the roster to compete with a team like the Knicks. But they