Brooklyn Nets: Divisional games are becoming a problem for the Nets again

Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets are, in a way, having a dream season. However, it once again seems that the same thing that has haunted them for years is going to continue haunting them.

The Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of that playoff race and floating around a .500 record in the month of January.

That is a wonderful thing and something that hasn’t been said in years.

The Nets might actually be good and play meaningful basketball games into the spring time for the first time under Kenny Atkinson.

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However, not everything is going well for the Nets. They still have one major flaw in their quest to be relevant again.

They still cannot beat teams that play in the Atlantic Division.

This season the Nets are 5-4 in the Division. That is not bad. It is quite frankly surprising. However, that is with two wins over the lackluster Knicks. So not all that impressive.

The Nets recently lost to the Raptors. They also got embarrassed by the Celtics last week.

Those games are significant because the they are the teams in the division that are good. Let’s not forget the Sixers too.

The Nets have wins over the Sixers this season back in November, and December. However, the Nets have lost their last two games within the Atlantic Division.

The struggles are improving this season. But, it only seems that way because of how poorly the Nets have been in that department for years now.

Nets wins in the Atlantic Division that last five years:

  • Five (this year)
  • 1 (last year)
  • 3 (2016/17)
  • 6 (2015/16)
  • 10 (2014/15)

So basically, the last time the Nets won 10 games in their division, they made the playoffs.

Their lack of being able to beat teams they play the most is a direct correlation to their lack of success in recent years.

It is more or less that same for any sports and any team that is set up with divisions, but something that is a baby step towards being better.

A baby step the Nets need to keep making this season.

The Nets are finally better at home this year. Last year they won just 15 games at home and they already have 11 on the year this year.

The Nets finally have some pieces of their future in place. D’Angelo Russell is playing like a star and they locked up Spencer Dinwiddie.

There are a lot of things falling the Nets’ way. Their rebuild stayed on course and it is finally paying off.

However, getting back to that mark of 10 wins in the Division might be the ultimate factor in deciding of the Nets make the playoffs are not.

The Nets get a tough test on their schedule coming up too. Three of their next seven games are against division opponents with two against the Celtics and one against the Knicks.

So, the test is only going to keep getting harder. The Knicks are not very good, but they will give the Nets everything they have. So, that is a tough game.

Then the Celtics are the Celtics, so those two wins are going to be tough to come bye.

Beyond that, the Nets still have four games left in the division.

The Nets have already beaten three teams in their division at least once this season, so that is significantly better than where they have been.

However, with the playoffs getting closer, and the window for losing games getting smaller, each win or loss means way more right now.

The Nets need to finish strong in their divisional games this year. That is what always makes or breaks their playoff push.

A playoff push that is very real this year. That is how we know the Nets are a legit team and can make it. Win the tough games against the tough teams.

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It starts and ultimately ends with how well they play against those who they play the most.