A disappointing 115-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on April 2 officially locked the Brooklyn Nets into the play-in tournament. As it stands now, Brooklyn has to win at least one game in the tournament to secure a spot in the postseason. However, Brooklyn still cannot afford to loosen the reigns. If the Nets continue to lose over their remaining four games, they could find themselves in a situation where they have to win two play-in games to get into the playoffs instead of just one.
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Daily News Reporter Urges Nets to Bench Seth Curry
For the Nets to have a strong finish, they will need as many players available as possible. However, newly acquired sharpshooter, Seth Curry, has been out of the Nets lineup since March 31 as he continues to deal with a lingering ankle injury. “New York Daily News” reporter Kristian Winfield says that the best option for the Nets is to keep Curry out of the lineup until the play-in tournament.
“The Nets should rest Seth Curry — rather, they should rest his injured left ankle — for their remaining four regular-season games,” Winfield writes per the “New York Daily News”.
“It’s an unpopular decision given Curry’s importance to the flow of the Nets offense, but it must happen. The performance staff must prioritize Curry’s sustained availability for the playoffs rather than risk his health in regular-season games.”
In the worst-case scenario, the Nets lose their remaining four games and are in the 10th spot in the play-in tournament. If that happens, Brooklyn would have to win back-to-back elimination games in the play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. They also would not be able to secure a playoff spot higher than the 8th seed, in which case they would have to face the top seed in the Eastern Conference in the first round of the playoffs. Nets head coach Steve Nash says that Curry’s availability is a day-to-day decision.
“That’s the position we’re in is do we try to sit him? Does him sitting for a week help? Or is he right back in the same boat anyway?” Nash said per Kristian Winfield of the “New York Daily News”.
“And how important is it for us to try to creep up into the seven-eight spots? So, we’re weighing all those things and it’s kind of more daily than it is making a decision.”
Steve Nash Reacts to Patty Mills Shooting Slump
Another reason Curry’s availability is so important is that he is one of the hottest three-point shooters in the NBA in comparison to Nets guard Patty Mills who has been trending downward.
Since joining the Nets Curry is shooting 47.7% percent from beyond the arc while averaging 15.1 points per game, per Stat Muse. On the other hand, Nets guard Patty Mills has been the complete opposite as he has struggled shooting from range in the second half of the season. Per the “New York Daily News”, Mills is shooting just 31.9% from downtown since Feb. 8 and just 31.4% on wide-open threes (no defender within six feet) since Goran Dragic made his Nets debut on Feb. 26. Nash attributes Mills’ slump to the heavy workload he was asked to carry in the absence of several key players throughout the season. However, the Nets coach has faith that Mills will eventually break out of his shooting struggles.
“I think more than anything Patty’s just had a heavy load this year on and off the floor, played a lot of minutes,” Nash continued. “So, I think Patty will rebound from this and be much more like himself and his best self going forward.”
Mills and Curry will be important parts of the Nets roster if they make the postseason. If both players can be effective for Brooklyn, the Nets could be in for a deep postseason run.
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