Instead of worrying about the Knicks, the Nets quietly went about doing as much as they could with what they had in the N.B.A. draft.
Coming off a strong season in his return from injury, Lopez chose on Friday to bypass the $16.7 million he would have earned next season. He will be able to talk to other teams July 1.
Picking 29th in the first round, the Nets selected McCullough, a 6-foot-9 forward who had his freshman season at Syracuse cut short by a knee injury after just 16 game.
The team, which had planned to move in by training camp, now expects to take up residence in February.
In a period when New York’s other professional sports teams have struggled, the Rangers, even without a championship, have had a commendable run.
Nets General Manager Billy King said he was looking to improve his team from within, but he did not rule out a trade to complement the team’s current core.
Atlanta cruised through the fourth quarter to post a 111-87 win over the Nets, capturing their first-round series against in six games and in the process returning some order to the N.B.A. universe.
The Nets could not overcome their sloppy beginning against the Hawks in Game 5, and Atlanta now leads the series, three games to two, as the teams prepare to play Game 6 at Barclays Center.
After evening their Eastern Conference playoff series against top-seeded Atlanta at 2-2, the Nets hit the road for Game 5 with new confidence.
Williams matched his playoff-career-high point total with 35, with 16 points in the fourth quarter, as the Nets won at home to tie their series with the Hawks at two games apiece.
Joe Johnson let slip that his teammate Deron Williams might be playing with tendinitis, but Coach Lionel Hollis defended Williams’s play after the Nets’ come-from-behind win over the Hawks.
The mood at Barclays Center initially felt subdued, but the Nets and their Brooklyn crowd were energized by the time their playoff victory ended.
Late in the fourth quarter of Game 2, the Nets had a chance to tie the score and potentially even their first-round playoff series with Atlanta, but they couldn’t make the basket they needed.
The Hawks led by as much as 16 points in the game, and though the Nets stayed stubbornly close until the end, they were unable to overcome Atlanta.
With the Knicks floundering, the Nets have an opportunity to seize control of the New York basketball scene, but their enigmatic point guard must decide to take the lead.
The Nets (38-44) and the Celtics (40-42) became the 11th and 12th under-.500 teams to make the N.B.A. playoffs in this century. The first 10 lost their first-round series.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 28 points to help the Nets to a victory, which helped lift them into the playoffs along with the Indiana Pacers’ loss.
In their final game of the regular season, the Nets will be hoping to squeeze into the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. The Knicks could benefit from losing.
Chicago again displayed its talent, depth and work ethic Monday night in a win over the Nets, who have done little lately to be considered even a viable fan alternative to the Knicks.
Chicago’s Derrick Rose led the way with 13 points and 7 assists in 23 minutes of a rout that cost the Nets control of their postseason destiny.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points as the Milwaukee Bucks clinched a playoff spot with a 96-73 victory over the Nets.
The Nets, playing with more togetherness and energy than Washington had seen before, blew past the Wizards to continue their playoff push with their 10th victory in the last 13 games.
Until recently, Wednesday night’s slate of local basketball games held little intrigue, but that changed after the Nets’ run of wins and a stabbing involving the Pacers’ Chris Copeland.
The team still has offices and a gym in East Rutherford while it builds a complex in Brooklyn, but the impending end of an era has left business neighbors nostalgic.
The often-injured Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, who have played together in just 45.9 percent of the team’s total games since February 2011, have helped the Nets surge recently.
Brook Lopez, playing against his twin brother Robin, had 32 points to lead the Nets to their 11th victory in their last 14 games.
The Hawks lost forward Paul Millsap to an injury, but they set a franchise record for wins with Saturday’s victory over the Nets, whose six-game winning streak ended.
Deron Williams scored a season-high 31 points, and the host Nets beat the Toronto Raptors, 114-109.
Brook Lopez followed up his own miss for the winning layup with two seconds remaining at Madison Square Garden, and the Nets (34-40) moved into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets let a gigantic early lead evaporate but recovered down the stretch. By the end of the night, they were alone in the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final postseason spot.