The one constant in the Brooklyn Nets’ season has been inconsistency. The players as well as the team. The win streaks. The losing streaks. Strong play in quarters, but not in enough quarters to win. Up-and-down performances of the players. Effectual one night, inconsequential the next. The eighth playoff seed one night, the ninth-, 10th- or 11th-team the next. These are your Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn entered into Tuesday’s game at home, the Barclays Center, against the Indiana Pacers with a three-game winning streak, having beaten the Charlotte Hornets, who along with Indiana, also competes for the eighth seed; the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers; and the once mighty Los Angeles Lakers, who, in the past few years, have fallen on hard times, with and without the again injured Kobe Bryant.
“It’s just a mentality, I guess, a sense of urgency,” said Nets point guard Deron Williams. “Realizing we have a chance to make these playoffs and we’re just trying to make a push.” The win helps to narrow the field of teams in contention for that last playoff position.
The fight for eighth place, or the eighth seed, also includes the refurbished Boston Celtics, who held that position until late night Tuesday, when Brooklyn beat Indiana 111-106, resuming the eight spot, extending their win streak to four. They played like the sixth seed they were last season. Center Brook Lopez continued to play like great, dominant centers of old, averaging 27 points, 10.1 rebounds per game during Brooklyn’s four-game streak. He was last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Brooklyn’s mentality, their sense of urgency, gets another test now. A home game against the Toronto Raptors tomorrow night, Friday, an away one against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday, and then back to Flatbush and Atlantic Monday against the Portland Trailblazers, three of this season’s most consistent, top-rated NBA teams.