2006_03sjefferson.jpgAs the playoffs near, the Nets have less and less to play for. Barring a drastic turnaround in the standings, they will end up as the three seed. Still, Gothamist likes their perforances in recent nights, including Tuesday's 112-100 win at Washington. Those stumbles of late February and early March now look more like a momentary disruption than a bad sign for the playoffs.

Why have the Nets improved? Their less glamorous players and their bench have performed better. Everyone knows the Nets win when Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson play to their potential, like they did on Tuesday. Not everyone knows that Nenad Krstic, Lamond Murray and Clifford Robinson can play important roles too. Krstic has been especially effective against some of the better teams, and when the playoffs roll around, the Nets will need his help. Credit for this recent spurt should also be given to head coach Lawrence Frank, who has this team motivated despite the small potetnial for reward for closing the regular season strong.

Photo by Gerald Herbert (AP) via Yahoo