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Nobody is claiming that Jason Collins is responsible, but neither can anybody say that the NBA’s first openly gay player is jinxing the team as the Brooklyn Nets have been on a wild winning streak ever since Collins was signed. In fact, the previously languishing Nets are now very close to clinching a spot in the playoffs.

The Brooklyn Nets are thisclose to clinching a playoff berth, and when they do, they’ll go into the postseason as a very dangerous team. Yep, the team that started 10-21 and lost its starting center for the season has established a home-court advantage that is daunting, a style of play that is vexing and a level of confidence that is surging. The Nets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 Sunday night in Barclays Center to tie a franchise record with 13 straight home wins. Had the Knicks lost to the Warriors in Oakland last night, Brooklyn would have clinched a playoff spot. The Knicks eked out the win, leaving the Nets thisclose to clinching.

If the Nets do make the playoffs:

As of today the Nets are looking at a rematch from last season with the Chicago Bulls in the first round. If this match up sticks, expect the Nets to be involved in a grueling seven game series, much like the season before. Despite their improved play late in the season, Brooklyn’s offense will have a difficult time executing against the stifling Chicago defense. Jason Kidd will also be entering his first playoff run as head coach, while Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau has had several years of experience, including a run to the Eastern Conference finals.

In addition to the current 13-game streak, the Nets have won 20 of their last 22 home games.