The Nets finished the season strong winning their last 3 meaning they claimed 6th seed and will face the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
Before facing the Bucks on Saturday it was looking bleak for Brooklyn and there was a fear that they may not make the playoffs altogether. 2 strong road wins against Milwaukee and Indiana and a brilliant finish back home against Miami ensured that Brooklyn would claim the sixth seed and avoid a rougher first-round opponent in the Bucks or the Raptors.
The Nets and the 76ers drew the series this year and the Nets caused Philly a lot of trouble defensively. Whether this can be repeated in the playoffs, only a matter of time will tell but the Nets find themselves in some good form and a win in their opening two games could prove vital.
THE KEYS TO GET TO THE SECOND ROUND
The question is how do Brooklyn get through this round against a 76ers side who have a very strong side and will fancy themselves with their home court advantage. Here I’ve picked up some key points the Nets will need to advance.
1. THEY MUST AVOID A 0-2 START
If Brooklyn is to go through they’ve ideally got to win all 3 home games and an away game, while they will still have to play 2 more away games after the first two matchups, if the Nets go into their first home game 0-2, the confidence could already be shattered and it could be an early exit for the Nets. Coming out of the two away games at 1-1 really give them a strong advantage and two home wins and they would be one win away from the second round.
2. JARED DUDLEY MUST FEATURE
Dudley has proved how much of an asset he is to this Nets side since his return from injury. Slowly getting back into his groove, it’s been very clear how important Jared is and what he brings to the side. When on the court you can see a rise in the team motivation. he uses his experience well to find gaps and make fouls. He will be an important part of the run in the playoffs.
3. NOT ALLOWING EMBIID THE BALL
We all know Embiid is likely to put up numbers in the playoffs but keeping him quite and marking him well will really be beneficial to the Nets in the firsts round. The Nets have done well defensively and offensively before against the 76ers but Embiid caused the problems as no one could get near him. If the Nets can prevent him from playing his game the Nets have a good chance.