Notes: Nets could tie Knicks on Sunday

Deron Williams has the Nets headed in the right direction. Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets (38-27) trail the free-falling/injury-plagued New York Knicks (38-25) by just a game in the Atlantic Division. If the Knicks lose to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon and the Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks later that night, the teams would be tied atop the division.

Brooklyn’s magic number to clinch its first postseason berth since 2007 remains at four. Toronto hosts Charlotte on Friday night. If the Raptors lose, that magic number is reduced to three.

D-WILL UP, MELO DOWN: Carmelo Anthony has looked like a leading candidate for MVP for much of the season. On the other hand, Deron Williams has looked like a leading candidate for LVP -- as in Least Valuable Player.

Not anymore.

Since the All-Star break, Anthony is shooting just 37.2 percent and averaging 22.4 points, while Williams is shooting a solid 46.7 percent and averaging 23.3 points. Anthony is bothered by a knee injury, while Williams appears to be healthy for the first time in a long time.

Who could’ve predicted that?

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: A quick look at Brooklyn’s eight-game road trip next week.

Monday at Detroit, Wednesday at Dallas, Saturday at the Clippers, Sunday at Phoenix; March 27 at Portland, March 29 at Denver, March 30 at Utah; April 3 at Cleveland.

Doesn’t look that bad, right?

Sure, until you realize that the Nets are 10-14 against Western Conference opponents and 17-17 in back-to-back games. Yeah, they’ll take 4-4 and run with it if they can make that happen.

BAH HUMP-BUG: Nets fans wanted to see Mirza Teletovic play, so must of them aren’t exactly thrilled with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo saying he wants to get Kris Humphries back in the lineup.

Here’s a statistical look at how Teletovic has played in the five games since his role increased and Humphries was benched: 77 minutes, 3.6 points per game, 6-for-24 from the field, 4-for-12 from downtown and a plus-21 rating. The Nets are 4-1 in those games.

Make of that what you wish.

D-MOTED: The Nets announced Friday morning that Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia were assigned to the D-League again.