With the way the NBA’s currently going the chances of seeing the Nets face the Raptors in the Play-In Tournament is becoming a reality. The Raptors are currently in 7th place, while the Nets are 8th in the Eastern Conference.
The Play-In Tournament
The Play-In Tournament will take place after the regular season and before the 1st round of the playoffs. It’s currently scheduled to start on April 12 2022. It will include the teams with the 7th-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference.
In each conference the team with the 7th-highest winning percentage will host the team with the 8th-highest winning percentage in a Play-In Game (the 7-8 Game). The winner of the 7-8 Game in each conference will earn the No. 7 seed.
The team with the 9th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 10th-highest winning percentage in the 9-10 Game. The loser of the 7-8 Game will host the winner of the 9-10 Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game in each conference will earn the No. 8 seed.
If the Play-In Tournament started today this would be the bracket:
Nets vs Raptors head-to-head
The Nets and the Toronto Raptors have played 104 games in the regular season with 44 victories for the Nets and 60 for the Raptors.
|Season||Nets’ wins||Raptors’ wins|
The odds of the Nets winning the championship
Since January the outright odds of the Brooklyn Nets winning the NBA championship have lengthened from 3.7 to 6.1. Several reasons for the change in odds will be highlighted, but the fact remains that these odds hold good value.
The graph details that the odds started to change on January 15 when Kevin Durant was sidelined with a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury. The injury kept him off the court for a month and a half, with the star forward only returning on March 3 2022.
During Durant’s absence, the Nets recorded an 11-game losing streak. It’s pivotal to note that no team in NBA history has won a championship after suffering a 7+ game losing streak.
However, the sportsbooks still favor the Nets to reach the final based on the following odds.
The question remains, can the Nets power through the remaining 10 games, followed by perhaps 1 or 2 games in the Play-In Tournament to reach the playoffs?
The Kyrie Irving dilemma
The simple answer to the question above is a resounding yes, especially now that Irving is expected to be cleared to play in home games as New York City is set to ease vaccine mandates today.
The New York City mayor, Eric Adams is expected to declare his decision to reverse the private-sector vaccine mandate specifically for performers and athletes in local venues, including Barclays Center.
However, Irving won’t be able to attend the Play-In Tournament if Toronto is hosting the 7-8 Game as unvaccinated athletes remain prohibited from entering Canada despite the loosening of restrictions.
Another key factor to the Nets’ success is that Irving remains injury-free, which at this stage would definitely derail their championship efforts.