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Jim Mancari,

Though a 22-15 record through 37 games is a solid mark, the road to get to that point has certainly been bumpy for the Brooklyn Nets.

From blowing a 22-point lead to the Minnesota Timberwolves, to then winning 11 of the first 15 games, to later going on a 3-13 stretch, to now the recent six-game winning streak, Brooklyn has really been a “Jekyll and Hyde” team this season.

And of course, throw in the fact that the team made a coaching change through 28 games, yet it has rebounded nicely to sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

But through it all, the Nets have shown they can overcome adversity and play good team basketball – both of which will be beneficial down the stretch this season.

Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez have missed time due to injury and recently the “Bench Mob” has not been 100 percent healthy.

However, the team is finding ways to win using gutsy performances from the healthy – or at least somewhat healthy – players it has.

Just look to Sunday’s win over the Indiana Pacers. The Nets trailed by 12 points early in the third quarter against arguably the league’s top defensive team.

The Pacers came into the game allowing an NBA-low 89.05 points per game. But Brooklyn got hot when it counted in the fourth quarter en route to a 97-point performance.

Deron Williams went through a stretch earlier this season where his outside shooting was the worst of his career. But now, he seems to have regained his All-Star form, despite playing banged up much of the season.

There’s something about the team that just seems to be clicking. The players are now very familiar with each other, as seen by the pre- and post-game banter in the locker room. They’re really having fun together.

When a team is having lots of fun, they’re usually winning. It probably wasn’t too much fun when the Nets suffered blowout losses to the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, but that again fits the theme of dealing with adversity.

Two nights after a 31-point loss to the Spurs, the team emerged with a road win against the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder – something the Nets had never done.

The final verdict is still out on this team as to whether the can consistently beat some of the top teams in the NBA. The upcoming stretch against the Hawks and Knicks will be another big test for the new-look franchise.

In a perfect world, the starters would all be healthy and productive all season leading to winning most games to then insure the security of the head coach.

But this world is far from perfect, and thus dealing with adversity has been part of this team’s identity in their inaugural season.

Jim Mancari is a Contributor to Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.

Tags: spurs, Brooklyn, Columns, nets, Brooklyn Nets, adversity, first season, thunder, deron williams, knicks
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