Head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts to Nets clinching playoff spot
The Brooklyn Nets have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the 2014-15 NBA season, ending the agony of their fans who suffered from years of disappointments after engaging in bad trades and questionable roster moves. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacted to finally clinching a postseason spot. Atkinson said that it feels great that they were able to prove their doubters wrong. He admitted that even he was proven wrong by his players, who showed a lot of progress this season.
“I’ve never won an NBA championship, but next to that, we’ve kind of proven everybody wrong, the predictions,” Atkinson said via Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “Even their head coach. They proved me wrong.”
The Nets posted their 41st win with a 108-96 win over the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The victory also assured the Nets of finishing with at least a .500 record for the first time since the 2013-14 NBA season, when they finished 44-38.
D’Angelo Russell was big for Brooklyn again, finishing with 20 points on top of six rebounds and six assists. The former second overall pick has been on a tear for the Nets this season, averaging 21.2 points and 7.0 assist per game. His strong season did not go unnoticed, as he earned an All-Star berth this year.
Joe Harris also had a productive game with 19 points, while Jarrett Allen ended up with 12 points and eight rebounds. Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to score 18 and 12 points, respectively. They are sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference, and will likely face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.