After losing to the Mavs last night, the Nets achieved the inevitable by starting the season 0-18, which is now the worst start in NBA history. Bottom line, the Nets are a bad team. But at the same time, they were dealt a bad hand this last week with tough schedule. In their past five games, all the teams the Nets played against all had winning records and four of those matches were road games. Things get a whole lot better for New Jersey this upcoming week as all five of their next games are against sub .500 teams.
We broke down each of the Nets’ next five games to see whether or not they will finally be able to mark one down in the win column.
Bobcats (Dec. 4): These two teams met up back on Nov. 4 in Charlotte, where the Bobcats ended up winning this low-scoring game, 79-68. Ever since the Stephen Jackson trade, the Bobcats have started to gain some momentum. Up until losing to the Celtics on Tuesday, Charlotte had won four straight games. The good news for Kiki and company is the Bobcats are only 1-7 on the road. The Nets have an advantage at the point guard and center positions so this could be an opportunity to get a win. Plus it’s partial owner Jay-Z’s birthday, so Jersey has even more to play for than their dignity. Chances of winning: 55 percent.
@ Knicks (Dec. 6): If the Nets fail to get a home win on Friday, they will get another chance to escape losing 20 straight when they visit the Garden. The Knicks aren’t too much better than the Nets, and in fact, you could probably make an argument that Jersey has a better core. When the Nets lost to their cross-river rivals back on Nov. 21, it was only Devin Harris’ first game back from injury. Chances of winning: 60 percent.
@ Bulls (Dec. 8): The Bulls have underachieved a little this year (they just broke a five game losing streak), but this will be a tough one for the Nets to pull out. Derrick Rose can match Harris’ speed and the Luol Deng and John Salmons should give the Nets’ younger players a hard time. But at the same time, Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas will be out, so this could be a good time to play Chicago. Chances of winning: 40 percent.
Warriors (Dec. 9): This game is probably New Jersey’s best chances to escape another week of scrutiny. Monta Ellis has been on a little tear as of late, but the Warriors are still a bad team. It will be interested to see how Jersey responds to the Warriors hectic pace. The Nets have only scored over 100 points twice this season, but since Golden State hardly plays defense this could work in Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts favor. Chances of winning: 70 percent.
@ Pacers (Dec. 11): Despite missing Yi Jianlian, Lee and Harris, the Nets held their own against Pacers back when the two teams squared off on Nov. 17. If they come at full strength, they could give Indiana a tough time in their own house. Last time Brook Lopez dominated Roy Hibbert, and CDR scored 27 in that loss. If they can find a way to limit Danny Granger and keep the Pacers under 100 points, then they can steal one on the road. Chances of winning: 40 percent.
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