Three keys for the nets to avoid the game trick
Three keys to the Nets’ keys to earning at least the No. 6 seed and avoiding the qualifying round:
The Nets lead the sixth-seeded Knicks by two games and the No. 7 Heat by 2 ½ with 24 games left on the schedule. They have a 2-1 lead over the Knicks and have already won the series with Miami. A win at the Garden on Wednesday or Miami on March 25 should put them in control of the sixth seed.
Developing a defensive identity
Without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they can’t fight their way to victory – they’ll have to defend to get there. The Nets have the roster for that, led by NBA All-Defensive Team candidates Nic Claxton and Mikal Bridges. But they will have to force turnovers to unleash their depleted offense.
The Nets need to not only run and take advantage of fresh legs, but create open 3-point looks in transition before the defenses get in place. Getting into the attack early will be key.