The Brooklyn Nets lastly welcomed James Harden again to the hardwood in Tuesday evening’s victory over San Antonio, which pulled them one step nearer to securing the No. 2 total seed within the Japanese Convention with simply two video games remaining on the schedule.
Effectively, with the postseason on the horizon, followers ought to begin assessing which groups they’d just like the Nets to keep away from solely. They’ll clearly want some luck for issues to fall of their favor, however locking down the No. 2 seed offers them a great opportunity of doing so.
It goes with out saying the East isn’t practically as stacked because the West, however sure groups within the convention have been in a position to give the Nets suits this season.
We’re not going to delve into a whole breakdown, as these cases have been few and much between this season, however they proved followers will likely be rooting exhausting so Brooklyn doesn’t see these groups — particularly their standout gamers — earlier than the semis or convention finals.
Taking all of this into consideration, it solely appears becoming that we spotlight some potential future participant matchups that can go away members of the Nets’ teaching employees waking up in the midst of the evening with freezing chilly sweats.
Which participant matchups ought to the Nets be apprehensive about come playoff time?
Warmth middle Bam Adebayo (Photograph by Jim McIsaac/Getty Pictures)
3. Bam Adebayo
The Nets are 2-1 in opposition to the Miami Warmth this season, however two of these matchups have been determined by a mixed six factors, which might foreshadow how shut a possible playoff sequence between the 2 groups may very well be.
Why have been these contests so nip and tuck? Effectively, the distinctive play of Bam Adebayo springs to thoughts, because the Warmth star has logged 29.3 factors, 10.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists on 60% capturing in opposition to the Nets this 12 months, which included a buzzer-beating game-winner again final month.
It’s not like Brooklyn can resort to mauling Adebayo within the paint to attempt to disorient his rhythm, both, as he’s capturing 79.9% from the charity stripe this season. To place it merely, the 23-year-old star is the entire bundle on offense and may strike from anyplace on the ground.
Bam Adebayo might current all types of issues for the Nets within the playoffs.
You would possibly assume double-teaming Adebayo may very well be a viable resolution, however he’s additionally among the finest passing massive males within the NBA. In different phrases, if you happen to double him, he’s good sufficient to bait defenders and use his brute energy to kick out to an open shooter or cutter as soon as the double workforce arrives.
There aren’t many groups within the league who transfer higher with out the ball than the Warmth, because the likes of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Andre Iguodala are at all times probing for pockets of area on the ground.
Whereas the Warmth won’t be probably the most daunting matchup for the Nets on paper, their incapacity to stymie Adebayo — coupled with Miami’s tenacious protection — proves Brooklyn needs to be hoping to keep away from the reigning Japanese Convention champs within the postseason.