Nets center Nic Claxton (33) dunks against the Minnesota Timberwolves...

Nets center Nic Claxton (33) dunks against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Minneapolis. Credit: AP/Abbie Parr

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If the Nets need a lifeline after dropping seven of their last eight games before Monday night’s game at the Grizzlies, the next few games could be life preservers.

After the injury-depleted 20-37 Grizzlies, the Nets’ next six opponents are mostly teams under .500 or missing their top player. Only the Magic Tuesday are the exception, having won five of their last seven.

The soft spot in the schedule is a positive after the last three games were historically bad. The Nets’ combined 93-point margin of defeat was their most over a three-game stretch in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“The coaches, players, we’re all being as positive as we can during this rough stretch and having to deal with a new coach,” Nic Claxton said Saturday before the loss to the Timberwolves. “But it’s all a part of the process.”

But the next week is a chance to get right and make up ground in the race for the play-in tournament. It’s also one of the easier stretches left, at least on paper, over the next 25 games after Monday.

Following the Magic, the Nets return home for two games Thursday and Saturday against the Hawks, who just lost Trae Young for at least four weeks after surgery on his pinkie finger.

Next Monday and Tuesday is a home back-to-back with the Grizzlies and 76ers, who don’t have Joel Embiid because of an injury. The next game is at Detroit on March 7 to start a six-game road trip, the Nets’ longest of the season.

Those six games are all winnable with the Nets three games behind the Hawks for the final play-in spot. It’s also one of the easiest parts of their remaining schedule with 25 games left after Monday.

The Nets are 2-0 against the Magic this season and split two close games against the Hawks.

Win both games with Atlanta and the Nets inch closer to 10th place and own the tiebreaker advantage by winning the season series.

As for the 76ers, the Nets beat them without Embiid this month in Philadelphia. The Pistons, meanwhile, lost both games to the Nets and are now just a very bad team instead of being historically bad during their 28-game losing streak earlier this season.

So the mission is simple: Come out of those games with a winning record and the Nets stay in good shape for the play-in race. Young’s injury also opens a door as the Hawks could take a slide over the next month.

With the Raptors a half-game behind the Nets entering Monday, it adds more pressure to get things right.

“The season hasn’t been going the way we want it to,” Mikal Bridges said last week. “We’ve been losing games and I know [the fans are] not happy. We’re not happy either. We get it and we’re trying to fix it, too. Obviously it’s not at the level we want it to be at, but we all go from here and go up from it.”

The Nets can only hope so. They’ve played decent defense in spurts the last two games under interim coach Kevin Ollie. But it’s poor offense, lack of shooting and transition defense that’s keep them stumbling.

There’s a chance to find solid ground the next six games. But the Nets have to start making shots if they want to take advantage and keep their slim hopes alive for the postseason.

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