Are the Brooklyn Nets for Real? What to Expect Heading into the All-Star Break

The streaking Brooklyn Nets are officially over .500 and in sole possession of the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. We take a look at what to expect from the team heading into the All-Star break.

The Brooklyn Nets are one of the most pleasant surprises in the NBA this year. At 25-23, they are currently the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference, and have won seven of their last ten games. While some may argue that this is simply due to the East being weaker than the West, it's hard to overlook the positive contributions the Nets have received from their young players and veterans across the board. At this point in the season, the Nets have won too many games (and are too competitive) to tank. So with 11 games remaining before the All-Star break, let's take a look at where the Nets will end up when their break begins on February 14th. If all goes well, it'll set the tone for their continued success throughout the rest of the season.

Nets Upcoming Schedule Predictions

Wednesday, January 23rd: Home vs Orlando Magic

Prediction: Win

Record: 26-23

Orlando is a bad road team (7-14). The Nets are the better team, and they show it.

Friday, January 25th: Home vs New York Knicks

Prediction: Win

Record: 27-23

The Nets have played the Knicks well this year (2-0), and the Knicks have been struggling (6-20 on road, 1-9 in the last 10 games). The Nets break their season-best winning percentage for the 4th straight game.

Monday, January 28th: Away at Boston Celtics

Prediction: Loss

Record: 27-24

While the Nets were able to beat the Celtics in the Barclays Center on the 14th, the Celtics were missing starters Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart. The now-healthy Celtics are tougher at home (17-5), and they stop the Nets' 6 game win streak.

Tuesday, January 29th: Home vs Chicago Bulls

Prediction: Win

Record: 28-24

The Nets are the better team but are playing in the second night of a back-to-back. While this has the makings of an upset for the Bulls, the Nets still pull out the victory.

Thursday. January 31st: Away at San Antonio Spurs

Prediction: Loss

Record: 28-25

The Spurs are one of the toughest teams in the league at home (18-6) and are hot right now (16-6 in their last 22 games). The Spurs stay hot and knock off the Nets.

Saturday, February 2nd: Away at Orlando Magic

Prediction: Loss

Record: 28-26

The Nets won the first two games against Orlando, but in the third and last game of the season series, the Nets lose to a plucky, rested Orlando team.

Monday, February 4th: Home vs Milwaukee Bucks

Prediction: Loss

Record: 28-27

The Bucks are a better team across the board, and this shows in the loss for the Nets.

Wednesday, February 6th: Home vs Denver Nuggets

Prediction: Win

Record: 29-27

This is the third game of a road trip for a Denver team that is merely .500 on the road. Brooklyn has shown they can keep up with high powered offensive teams, with wins against Philadelphia, Toronto, and Houston, as well as a victory in Denver earlier in the year. Brooklyn also gets the day off between home games. The stars are aligned for a Brooklyn upset.

Friday, February 8th: Home vs Chicago Bulls

Prediction: Win

Record: 30-27

The Bulls are the worst road team in the NBA, and the Nets have more talent. It shows.

Monday, February 11th: Away at Toronto Raptors

Prediction: Loss

Record: 30-28

Toronto doesn't lose at home (20-4) and, with Kyle Lowry back, are fully healthy moving forward. The Nets will put up a good fight but ultimately fall just short.

Wednesday, February 13th: Away at Cleveland Cavilers

Prediction: Win

Record: 31-28

The Nets avenge an earlier loss to Cleveland, who is not trying to win, and head into the All-Star break at 31-28, their best mark at the break since the 2012-2013 season.

The Nets' Competition

The Nets' closest competition for the last few playoff seeds -- the Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, and Detroit Pistons -- all face similar schedules. The following are the average opponent winning percentages that each team will face heading into the All-Star break.

Brooklyn: 0.461%

Charlotte: 0.458%

Detroit: 0.479%

Miami: 0.473%

While the average winning percentages are all quite similar, the strength of the competition is not. The Nets face 6 teams (Kings, Celtics, Spurs, Bucks, Nuggets, and Raptors) that are competing for the playoffs, whereas the Hornets face eight, the Pistons face nine, and the Heat face ten. As the Nets are currently ahead of these 3 teams in the standings, there's plenty of reason to believe that they will head into the All-Star break as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Playoffs on the Horizon

The combination of a manageable schedule and a few games worth of a buffer over competing teams means the Nets will likely enter the All-Star break as the sixth seed and will remain a playoff team moving forward. With the Nets playing their best basketball of the past five years and the return of Caris LeVert on the horizon, there's no reason to believe the Barclays won't see playoff basketball for the first time in four years. All aboard the playoff train- it's not stopping soon.

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