The number of games are shrinking and so are the New Jersey Nets’ playoff chances.
“It’s not mathematically impossible, until it is, we still have an opportunity,” Nets forward Vince Carter told me.
Carter has become the Nets go-to-guy now that Jason Kidd is in Dallas. Ten years and $62 million dollars will do that to you.
“We’re just trying to figure out what we can do to get over the hump. Every play, every game counts right now. We have to play with a fire if we want that second season.”
As of Tuesday, the Nets are three games out of the final playoff spot. The Atlanta Hawks own that eighth spot and have been a hot team over their last 10 games (8-2).
Beginning tonight against Philadelphia, the Nets finish out the last eight games of the season against Eastern Conference opponents. Of the group, only Milwaukee and Charlotte have worse records.
“We put ourselves in the position where we have to win games the last couple of years,” Carter said. “We were resilient and found a way to get it done so hopefully history can repeat itself.”
Nets head coach Lawrence Frank sat in his office on Saturday, talking about how he believes the Nets are not out of the race. He says it just takes some willpower.
“Focus, effort, discipline. Trust me, there’s no practice time to change things now, this has to be changed on the run. It’s about intent,” Frank told me.
With the time running out, the Nets’ go-to-guy knows it’s time for him to take charge.
“I’m going to finish it out to the last day,” Carter, never looking more serious, said. “Hopefully I can get everybody on board, fight it out, and find a way.”