Jarrett Allen says Nets are eyeing a top four seed in the playoffs
The Brooklyn Nets have already exceeded expectations. Considered by many as another also-ran in the Eastern Conference cellar before 2018-19 tipped off, Kenny Atkinson’s team has instead emerged as one of the league’s most pleasant surprises.
Brooklyn is a respectable 30-29 this season, sixth in the East as All-Star weekend looms, where the team will be extremely well-represented. Sophomore center Jarrett Allen is playing in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge; Joe Harris is participating in Saturday’s three-point contest; and D’Angelo Russell is playing in Sunday’s All-Star game.
Obviously, the Nets have fared better this season than most projected. A playoff appearance alone, though, apparently still wouldn’t be enough for Allen. During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” with injured teammate Spencer Dinwiddie on Thursday, the ever-confident big man was asked by host Rachel Nichols where his team would finish in the standings.
“I mean, we’re definitely coming for the top four seeds,” Allen replied. “That’s the name of the game.”
That type of self-belief is one of the many factors that’s been integral to Brooklyn’s rise this season. Still, Allen should probably check out the Eastern Conference standings again before boasting about the Nets’ chances to get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Brooklyn is seven-and-a-half games back of the fifth-place Philadelphia 76ers with just 23 left to play, and has the second-most difficult remaining schedule in the NBA behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Nets, just two-and-a-half games ahead of the ninth-place Miami Heat, are more likely to fall out of postseason position altogether than host a first-round series.
Odds are that Brooklyn makes the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Anything more than that, though, will likely have to wait.