Earlier today on the site, Brian Erni ran down the pros and cons of Brooklyn matching up with the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls. One of those two teams will in all likelihood be the Nets' first-round opponent when the playoffs get underway.
One way or another, I think that whoever the Nets play, it's going to be a fun series that has potential to be one of the better matchups in the first round this season.
The Nets, Bulls, and Raptors have all had pretty terrific stretches in the calendar year of 2014, and the stats back that up. Many Nets fans know that Brooklyn's 32-13 record since January 1 is the best record in the Eastern Conference in that span.
However, the Bulls are right there as well, at 33-14 since January 1. Not far behind them is the Raptors, whose 31-17 record since January 1 is third in the conference, ahead of Miami and Indiana. All three teams have played tremendous basketball for a large portion of the season now, and they all deserve a ton of credit for that.
I don't know who the Nets will match up with when the postseason starts. I'm excited to find out and I'm excited for the second season that is the NBA playoffs to begin.
The Eastern Conference may very well go through Miami and/or Indiana, but I don't think it's a two-horse race anymore. Brooklyn, Chicago, and Toronto are good teams. Just how good remains to be seen. But when the Heat host the Nets tonight, I'm sure in the back of their mind, they'd be fine having tonight be the last time they see Brooklyn this season. The Nets are going to be a dangerous team come playoff time.