2006_03_stimbernets.jpgJust days after Gothamist commended the efforts of the Nets' bench players, a reserve helped seal Thursday's 86-82 defeat of Minnesota in New Jersey. As the season wears on and the Nets' already-slim chances of a seed other than the third diminish, more Nets reserves should see key miinutes. On Thursday, it was Clifford Robinson's two fourth quarter three pointers that helped make the difference.

New Jersey now leads the division by seven games over Philadelphia but trails Miami by five games for the second seed. With fifteen games remaining, they know little will change. Minnesota, despite the optimism of their coach Dwane Casey, has little chance of making the playoffs. Things are bleak enough in Minnesota that the New York Times suggested Minnesota's star forward might be traded to the Nets in the offseason. Right now, the Nets and their bench don't need him.