NBA Power Rankings Playoff Edition: Brooklyn Nets Come In Near The Bottom

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Apr 13, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) advances the ball during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

8. Washington Wizards (46-36) 5th Place In Eastern Conference

The Wizards had their coming out party last season, upsetting the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs and playing the Indiana Pacers tough in the second round. They convinced Paul Pierce things were on the up and up, as he signed on as a free agent, even though many people thought he would go back home to Los Angeles to play with Doc Rivers and the Clippers. This was the season they were expected to take that next step, and for a while it looked like they would. They were as many as 16-games over .500, but then another injury to Bradley Beal and what looked to be a worn down John Wall slowed them in their tracks.

Multiple four-plus game losing streaks really put a damper on a season that looked like the Wizards would lock up home court advantage at least in the first round. But, even as the five seed, they have a good chance of advancing past the Toronto Raptors that have dealt with problems of their own to finish the season. Defeating the Hawks would be another story though, as they went 1-3 against them in the regular season, including a 31-point whooping.

7. Chicago Bulls (50-32) 3rd In Eastern Conference

The Bulls have Derrick Rose back in the lineup, making them a difficult matchup in the postseason. They will be looking to avenge last season’s disaster against the Wizards, looking to take it out on the Bucks. Too bad for them, the Bucks profile as close as any team to last season’s Wizards. Unlike the Wizards though, the Bucks do not have John Wall in their backcourt, or the veteran leadership and playoff savvy of guys like Paul Pierce, Nene or Marcin Gortat. That is what will ultimately be the difference, and the Bulls will present a problem with whoever they face.

Their style of play is conducive to the postseason, as you know they will bring it every night defensively. When you do that, you have a chance to win every game. With Pau Gasol in the lineup, and Jimmy Butler growing, the Bulls have more firepower than they have in recent seasons. Joakim Noah struggled during the regular season battling a myriad of injuries, but come playoff time he should be pumped up enough to get it going.

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