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Could Nets rest guys hoping to face Raptors instead of Bulls in first round? (They didn’t)

Apr 15, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

Would you rather your team face the Toronto Raptors or the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs?

It is possible the Brooklyn Nets front office is saying Toronto, at least according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The Nets are sitting Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston for sure Tuesday against the Knicks. Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are all game time decisions.

A lot of playoff bound teams rest guys this time of year, you say. That’s true. But maybe there’s more to this one.

UPDATE 8:33 pm: The Nets decided not to go this way. Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson all started.

If the Nets do fall to the six seed they are going to have to lose to the Knicks (playing without Carmelo Anthony) the old fashioned way.

3:46 pm: Follow along here as we travel down the road of the hypothetical with the currently fifth-seed Nets. If the Nets lose to the Knicks (a team likely without Carmelo Anthony) on Tuesday night then fall to the Cavaliers Wednesday night they will finish with 44 wins. Washington, the current six seed, has 43 wins but will be motivated to beat the Celtics Wednesday night because Charlotte, the seven seed, has 42 wins and the tiebreaker over Washington. The last thing the Wizards want is to fall to seven and get Miami in the first round.

But Washington has the tiebreaker over Brooklyn, so if they both finish with 44 wins the Wizards are the five seed, the Nets the six seed.

Assuming as expected Toronto beats the ‘Melo-less Knicks on Wednesday they are the three seed, the Bulls would be fourth (if the Raptors lose and the Bulls beat a motivated Charlotte team then Chicago is the three seed).

Got all that?

Bottom line is it is likely the Raptors are your three seed in the East, Bulls the four seed. Are the Nets looking at that, looking at the schedule and trying to line themselves up with the Raptors in the first round?

Not sure you could ever prove that, but something to watch.

And it would be a mistake for the Nets to think the Raptors — with a good defense, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan — will be an easy out.

  1. calkinsrob - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    As a bulls fan this would be great. Id much rather have the bulls face the wizards instead of Brooklyn

  2. bknowledge - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    As a Nets fan I wanna see:
    1) Pacers
    2) Heat
    3) Bulls
    4) Raptors
    5) Nets
    6), 7), 8)…whoever…

  3. pharohislife - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Wow this is good for all NBA fans in general if this happens, because although we would miss out on a 1st round matchup between the Bulls and Nets at the 4/5 seeds, and have whichever one of those 2 teams win that round playing the Pacers in the 2nd round; We would get The Pacers playing the Bulls in the 2nd Round, and the Heat playing the Nets in the 2nd Round.

    Both of those matchups are the 2 teams that are just right for taking out those 2 teams. The Bulls cant beat the Heat in a series, but they could beat the Pacers, and I don’t think the Nets would do as good against the Pacers, but they seem to be the only other team that in the East that could beat the Heat.

    So lets hope the Nets fall to 6. So the 2nd Round will be PacersVs.Bulls and HeatVs.Nets. Otherwise it’s going to be PacersVs.Bulls/Nets and HeatVs.Raptors/Wizards.

    • mrosales1989 - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      You’re talking as if the raptors won’t even show up to the play the series if they play against the nets. Do you have no respect for any athletes?

      • pharohislife - Apr 19, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Are you dumb or stupid, I’m just giving my opinion on who I think would Win that 1st round series, you may think it’s the Raptors I obviously think it’s the Nets, I guess we’ll see if I’m correct won’t we

    • calkinsrob - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      agreed, those would definitely be the most entertaining second round series’

      • pharohislife - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        Yeah, by the way everbody seems to be disagreeing with us it looks like people want the Heat to have another easy path to Eastern Conference Finals. Well sorry for not being apart of that bunch. I’d be more impressed with a Heat run to the championship this year if they had to go thru, Charlotte, Brooklyn, and Indiana than going thru Charlotte, Toronto, and Indiana. Ya’ll must not want to see the Heat actually face serious competition, otherwise why else would you disagree.

    • mannyrao - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:59 AM

      So your foregone conclusion is that the Nets are gonna beat the Raptors eh? Wow. I can’t wait for Toronto to drop your title hopes.

      • pharohislife - Apr 19, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        What title hopes? My team has no title hopes this year, we didn’t make the postseason. I’m simply rooting for the Nets to beat the Heat, it would be unrealistic to root for them to win the title, and yes the Nets are gonna beat the Raptors, Cmon now.

  4. antistratfordian - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    You can’t go into the playoffs worrying about who you’re going to face. You also wouldn’t want to give an opponent any locker room material – especially not a higher seed.

    “Beware of what you wish for in youth, because you will get it in middle life.” – Macaulay Culkin

  5. theoldgreybeard - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    As a Toronto fan, I think this is locker room material. I respect the Nets for their playoff experience, but to suggest that they will tank the last game to get the Raps, man I see this post as a motivational a$$ kicker.

  6. canadatude - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    It’s a pretty weak position to have to tank games to get what you want. The Nets should have just tried to win their division. Only the media around New York perceives their teams as good as they claim.
    The Nets should roll some of Amar’e Stoudamire’s paper out on the court, since they are much better on paper than the Raptors. Bottom line; they didn’t earn anything yet. It may take home town refs to make horrible calls just to sneak into the second round, no matter who they play.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      The Nyets DID try to win their division. They just failed miserably.

  7. csbanter - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    The Nets are doing the right thing. Resting key players. Some people like this writer and his conspiracy theory seem to think playing the Raptors will be a cake-walk. Apparently he didn’t watch the season series between these two teams.

    • jamesbenson1 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      All this talk around the league is a great motivator for the Raptors. They were already hungry, but being disrespected like this is fuel. They will be a tough out.

  8. mydoglouie - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    When it comes to the nba, I sure don’t think integrity.

  9. Kevin S. - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Do the Nets really want to tank their way into a second-round matchup with the Heat? Head-to-head records aside, I’d think you’d want to play the team that is struggling and *doesn’t* have a history of being able to shorten its rotation and flip a switch in the playoffs.

  10. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Considering how utterly crappy they played to start the season, the Nyets should be happy they got in the playoffs, and should be trying to win as much as possible. Not that it matters, they aren’t going very far.

  11. sportsfan18 - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Hey Silver… this is ANOTHER form of TANKING…

    What say you?

  12. canadatude - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    Simple way for Silver to deal with tanking. Any time a team goes out of it’s way to lose a game ( hello Nets ) or dumps players in a trade ( Philadelphia ), they lose both a draft position and a home play-off game.
    That would have Philly drafting about 5 spots back and Brooklyn on the road for their short play-off run.

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