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Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets Keep Atlantic Division Title Hopes Alive

March 11th, 2014 at 4:01 PM
By Martin Mihaly

'Brooklyn Nets Practice Facility' photo (c) 2012, Maxim Pierre - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Brooklyn Nets are 22-9 in the 2014 year.  Following a close victory versus the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors on Monday night, the Nets are only three games back of the division lead.  They are now 32-30 for the season.

Brooklyn is in the middle of a four-game stretch of facing playoff potential opponents.  It started on Monday with the Raptors.  Next, the Nets will travel to play the Miami Heat on Wednesday.  On Saturday, they will play at the Washington Wizards.  They return home on Monday for a bout with the Phoenix Suns.  

The Nets are really clicking as a team.  Deron Williams is playing well next to Shaun Livingston.  Having Williams play off the ball more as helped him alleviate some of the pressure.  His assists totals are well below his career average, but he seems comfortable with his role and the Nets are doing well as a team.  Livingston is also a terrific defensive player.

Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson are doing a great job of taking advantage of mismatches.  If double-teams come they have been able to find the open player.  

Kevin Garnett has missed the last few games due to back spasms.  However, his presence has brought a defensive toughness to the team.

The Nets now have a fully equipped bench.  Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson and Marcus Thornton are all terrific shooters who can stretch the floor.  Andray Blatche is playing well and is the Nets top bench scorer along with Thornton.  Andrei Kirilenko has been a major part of the Nets turnaround.  He missed most of the early part of the season.  He does all the little things on the court.  Since he has been healthy, the Nets have been winning.  Jason Collins is another big body who can help defensively.  Mason Plumlee is a high energy player who gives the Nets a different dimension with his above the rim ability.  

Jason Kidd was criticized earlier this season for the Nets poor start.  Now, he has the Nets playing great team basketball.  

The Nets still have a lot of work to do in order to catch the Raptors.  Toronto has won seven of their last 10 games.  

Still, if Brooklyn can keep up their recent play they will make the race close come the end of the season.  

 

 

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Tags: Basketball, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Nets, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA, Paul Pierce, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors

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