Will the very mediocre Brooklyn Nets even have a slim chance to win one game against the Atlanta Hawks in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs?
By Robby Sabo
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the No. 8 seeded Brooklyn Nets and No. 1 slotted Atlanta Hawks is now officially in the books. The Hawks came out on top by the final of 99-92.
Kyle Korver came up huge for Atlanta. His 21 points was a team high, which included a 5-11 clip from downtown. Also chipping in with seven rebounds, the sharpshooter made his presence felt all game long.
However, this game wasn’t a trouncing by any means.
Every time Atlanta jumped out to a double digit lead, Brooklyn went on a mini-run themselves. All told, the Nets outscored the Hawks 30-25 in the fourth quarter.
Still, the result was what we all expected. A Nets loss.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 20, 2015
It begs the question: will the Nets win even one game in this series?
I mean, let’s get real for a moment. This is the NBA Playoffs – the tournament for which an underdog rarely wins series, and never wins championships.
Since 1999, only seven teams not seeded in either the No. 1 or No. 2 slots of either conference, have made it all the way to the NBA Finals. That’s a total of 30 teams combined.
Of course the only No. 8 seed to get there was the New York Knicks of the 1998-99 season – which was the lockout shortened season. For that reason, many agree that Jeff Van Gundy’s Knicks were simply a better team than a No. 8.
Nevertheless, this is the situation the Nets find themselves in, as the No. 8. What’s worse is their a No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference – a side of the NBA playoffs that truly hasn’t featured a major shakeup in quite a while.
The Miami Heat – or more accurately LeBron James – has won the East four straight times. The bottom of the East playoffs have featured under .500 clubs several years running.
Never do we see major upsets in the East.
This is what the Nets will be fighting against. Not only did they finish with the very unworthy record of 38-44 during this campaign, but they’ll need to fight recent history.
The only glimmer of hope has to be the Hawks inexperience in the playoffs. Sure, Mike Budenholzer has done an outrageous job with the “Spurs of the East,” but the squad still lacks a postseason friendly team.
When their free-flowing style gets cramped up and they need a go-to guy in the final moments of a game, who will they turn to?
Brooklyn has their guy in Joe Johnson.
Because of Big Shot Joe, the Nets will win at least one game during the series, if not two. He is reason enough to believe Brooklyn can scare these Hawks.
Game 2 is slated for Wednesday night at 7 pm ET in Atlanta.
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