The Nets are four games out of the final playoff place in the Eastern Conference and their players believe they can make the playoffs
Why not? With an East-heavy January schedule, ground could be made over the next four weeks. And without owning their first-round pick this summer, currently owned by the Cavaliers via the Celtics, the front office surely has no incentive to lose.
At 15-23, the team is a bit better than many expected. Reinforcements are on the way, too. Jahlil Okafor has just begun to enter the Nets rotation, with 11 minutes against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, and D'Angelo Russell is soon to be back from injury.
"Everybody talks about it," Quincy Acy said, via Greg Logan of Newsday. "We're not just here playing basketball. We're playing for a goal. We're building for a future, but we're trying to win every game. What better way to prepare than to get to the playoffs right now while we're all young and inexperienced? So yeah, playoffs are a real goal. We all believe it top to bottom."
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson shares his players' belief, according to Acy.
"Coach says, 'I don't want to sound cocky, but we can score with anybody,' " Acy said. "We have to get stops, we have to take it next level, locking in defensively. That's when we'll get over the hump."