In all likelihood, the Brooklyn Nets (35-31) will likely face either Toronto Raptors (38-29) or Chicago Bulls (38-30). There is an outside chance the Nets could face Washington Wizards (35-32), though the standings would have to change pretty significantly for that to occur.
Toronto (season series 2-2): The Raptors have a great backcourt in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, along with an athletic frontcourt in Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson. Toronto’s guards are quick and can rebound. The Nets have struggled to defend quick guards and grab rebounds, so that’s where the Raptors have the advantage. Brooklyn, though, has a major advance in playoff experience. The Nets have also discovered their identity and become unbeatable at home.
Chicago (season series 2-1 Bulls): The Bulls eliminated the Nets last season. Despite not having Derrick Rose or Luol Deng, Chicago plays a tough, defensive-minded brand of basketball under its brilliant coach, Tom Thibodeau. Joakim Noah is the team’s heart and soul, and Brooklyn has had a tough time containing him. Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson have also given the Nets trouble. Brooklyn has more talent, but this would likely be a grind-it-out type of series that could end up going the distance for a second straight season.
Washington (season series 3-0 Wizards): The Wizards are led by John Wall. He makes them go, and the Nets couldn’t guard him. Washington is another team with a big frontcourt and quick guards. But again, it would be very surprising if this matchup occurs.
Question: Who do you want the Nets to face? Let us know in the comments section.
Stat to know: The Nets, who have won 10 in a row at Barclays Center, are an NBA-best 17-2 at home since Christmas.
Up next: The Nets host the Boston Celtics on Friday night.