Without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, and Spencer Dinwiddie, the Brooklyn Nets are heading into the Orlando bubble hobbled, fractured, and with little hope of advancing very far.
Still, despite these obstacles, Shaquille O'Neal picked them to advance to the second round of the East playoffs. Here is the exact wording of his bold prediction, per TNT.
“Because there’s no home-court advantage and they will be playing in the ballroom, Brooklyn will advance to the second round. You heard it here first,” Shaq said..
“With no clear-cut home-court advantage, emotions are going to be low and everybody knows they don’t have certain guys. That’s the toughest team to play, a team that you’re up for,” Shaq added.
The Nets have yet to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. As the seventh seed in the East, they will be competing with the Magic and Wizards for their ticket to the postseason.
If they do make it, it'll likely pin them up against the Bucks or Raptors. Even for a fully healthy Nets squad, that's quite a difficult matchup and it will take a near miracle for them to come out on top.
Still, Shaq seems confident in the Nets and their chances, and it will be interesting to see if he's right.