Four and zero. That’s Brooklyn’s record against the two-time defending champs this season. Their sweep culminated in a one-point win in South Beach last night after rookie Mason Plumlee blocked LeBron James‘ dunk attempt in the final seconds.
The Nets have gone 31-13 since starting off the year 11 games below .500, and finally look like the team many predicted they’d be during the summer. Shaun Livingston made a huge difference. So has more consistent play from Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. And Jason Kidd is starting to look like a halfway decent coach, adjusting on the fly and reshaping the team’s roster. Because they’re still only 43-34 and currently the No. 5 seed in the East, it feels like hardly anyone outside of the die-hard fans are noticing.
LeBron isn’t taking them seriously, either.
In the postgame last night, LeBron still wasn’t happy about the no-foul call on Plumlee. (He reiterated that the 6-11 big man fouled him.) But when TNT’s Craig Sager asked him if the Nets were a legit contender in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, James mocked Brooklyn, dismissing the reporter with “Get out of here, Craig. Next question.”
The Nets are the “new” Celtics of the East, so it feels like we’ll get an inevitable tussle between these two teams in the playoffs. Perhaps by that point, James will feel differently.
Is Brooklyn a legit contender?
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