The Brooklyn Nets might be the toughest in the NBA play-in tournament

The Brooklyn Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference. But thanks to the Play-In tournament, they might still have a chance at a magic run.

The NBA regular season is drawing to a close and lower seeded teams are gearing up for the play-in tournament in hopes of keeping their season alive. Teams finishing 1-6 automatically enter the playoffs, but teams finishing 7-10 must compete for a chance to win the bottom two seeded spots in their conference.

The Brooklyn Nets, considered favorites to win the title before the start of the 2021-22 season, could be one of the teams entering the tournament.

The play-in tournament takes place before the start of the playoffs. It was introduced in the 2019-20 season as a result of the pandemic leading to limited games.

The breakdown of the NBA play-in tournament

  • Team #7 will host Team #8. The winner of that round ranks seventh in the playoffs. The loser has one more chance to make the playoffs.
  • Team #9 welcomes Team #10. The winner of this game plays the loser of No.7-vs-No. 8 team. The loser of this game is eliminated from the playoff competition.
  • The winner of the final ranks eighth in the playoffs.

The Nets are still a dangerous team despite their position in the Eastern Conference

The Nets’ journey to the playoffs was not easy. They haven’t been 100 percent since the start of the season, partly because of Kyrie Irving’s part-time availability.

Irving has missed most of the Nets’ home games due to the New York vaccination order, and when he was able to play, either Durant or James Harden were often injured. Harden is now a Philadelphia 76er and his replacement is an injured Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played a game since the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals. The networks look good on paper, but in reality they are still a work in progress.

Despite all of this, the Nets are still the team no one should face in the play-in tournament. Thanks to Mayor Eric Adams lifting the vaccination order, Irving can now play home games. With Irving back and a healthy Durant, these two are a threat to any team they face.

Durant averages 29.5 points per game and Irving averages 27.1 points per game. For the Nets, offense isn’t a problem, and defense might not be either. According to NBA insiders Schein Charnia, the Nets expect Simmons to pass sometime this season. Simmons is known for being a defensive threat. Last season, Simmons averaged 5.6 defensive rebounds and was named second in Defensive Player of the Year. He knows how to defend on and off the ball.

The Nets have also picked up an offensive threat in the Harden trade – Seth Curry. Offensively, Curry has been a lifesaver for the Nets when Durant or Kyrie aren’t playing. Curry averages 15.3 points per game. Curry takes some of the pressure off Durant and Irving to score all the time.

Basketball-Reference has the Nets as the No. 8 seed as the most likely team to emerge from the play-in tournament. With Durant and Irving healthy, and possibly Simmons returning, the Nets should have no problem making that happen.

https://fansided.com/2022/03/30/brooklyn-nets-toughest-nba-play-tournament/ The Brooklyn Nets might be the toughest in the NBA play-in tournament

John Verrall

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