Nets complete impressive late season tank; draw Raptors, then Heat in playoffs

Yesterday I discussed the fact that the Nets were tanking in an attempt to fall to the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  All they needed to make it happen on the final day of the regular season was a Washington victory in Boston, and loss in their visit to Cleveland.

Brooklyn held Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston (among others) out of action, and went with just 7 active players.  All you really need to know about the game is that Jason Collins started at center, and logged 39 minutes of floor time.  The last time he played 39 minutes in an NBA game was in 2006.  Collins even hoisted 2 three-pointers (missing both), another accomplishment he hadn't achieved in nearly eight years.

The end result was a 114-85 Cavaliers' win.  The defeat dropped the Nets behind the Wizards (5) into 6th place in the East, exactly where they hoped to be.  Brooklyn avoids a first round matchup with Chicago (4), and gets Toronto (3) instead.  It also sets up a potential epic battle in the second round with Miami (2).

Since the day Pierce and Garnett were shipped off to the Nets, I can only assume they've been dreaming (along with most Celtics fans) about the opportunity to send LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen home for the summer.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan