magic johnson nets
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The Nets are currently playing without Kevin Durant because of a sprained MCL. That doesn’t seem to be a problem, though, as Brooklyn is still rolling along. Their performance has been impressive enough to win over Magic Johnson, who thinks they can make some legit noise once the NBA Playoffs come around.

Brooklyn has won 18 of its last 20 games, which is the first time it’s been accomplished in franchise history. This hot streak has brought the Nets’ season-long record to 27-13. That ranks second in the Eastern Conference and is just 1.5 games behind the Boston Celtics.

When it comes to which team could represent the East in the NBA Finals, Magic thinks Brooklyn has what it takes:

The Nets have reached the playoffs in each of the last four years. However, they’ve advanced past the first round just once. In fact, Brooklyn hasn’t gotten past the Eastern Conference Semis since the turn of the century. That’s when they lost back-to-back Finals in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.

KD has been putting together MVP-caliber numbers when on the floor, but Kyrie Irving has been pretty good, too. It was just a matter of him actually staying on the floor and not focusing so much on his social media accounts. Johnson has been impressed with Irving, as well:

Through 30 games this season, Irving is averaging 26 points with 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks. Being able to have him and Durant running things at the same time has definitely been a huge boost for Brooklyn.

And then there’s interim head coach, Jacque Vaughn. Since taking over for Steve Nash, Vaughn has watched his team respond by going 25-8 over the past 33 games played. Good thing they went with him instead of Ime Udoka, right? Vaughn is Johnson’s Coach of the Year at the moment, but he wants a little more job security for him.

I mean, he’s not wrong. Vaughn has the Nets rolling in a way we haven’t seen from them before. Of course, there’s still a long way to go, and while the sample size has been excellent, it’s still pretty small. One would imagine a multi-year deal will be on the horizon at the end of the year if Brooklyn keeps the good vibes going.

Whenever it happens, you know Magic will be excited about it.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.