The Nets have already clinched their spot in their year's NBA playoffs, which would suggest head coach Kenny Atkinson rest his key players against the Heat on Wednesday to make sure they're 100 percent healthy for the big games this weekend right?
"S--t we're trying to win," D'Angelo Russell told The Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "It makes sense if guys are banged up to rest. But I'm playing."
Other teams may be sitting their stars in advance of the playoffs, but the Nets are not like every other team. They weren't supposed to be in this position when the season began. But here we are with the Nets primed to upset a high seed with their brand of team basketball that has been one of the most interesting -- and frankly, fun -- stories of this regular season.
Joe Harris, who is the NBA's leader in three-point field goal percentage and the 2019 three-point contest winner, speaks for the entire Brooklyn squad when he says making the playoffs just isn't enough.
"We're not done yet," he said. "Obviously, we're excited to be in the playoffs but by no means are we satisfied with just making it into the playoffs. Regardless of whether we play against Toronto or Philadelphia, we've had competitive battles with them, each team, this entire season. And yeah, we know the playoffs are going to be a little bit different, but we're excited about the challenge and the opportunity."
The Nets will certainly have a challenge on their heads, though. Depending on what happens over these finals two days of the regular season, they will have to face either the Sixers or Raptors -- two teams that possess more talented roster than Brooklyn. The biggest advantage for the aforementioned top seeds is the post game, with the do-it-all Sixers center Joel Embiid and veteran rim protector Serge Ibaka for Toronto down low.
Atkinson, though, has a general plan that he thinks will work, and it may sound pretty familiar to Nets fans.
"Use our speed, spread the court, shoot threes," Atkinson said. "Somehow try to limit the post game and do a better job rebounding. Hopefully, now it's the playoffs, that kind of physicality we've been talking about all year, I think we'll have to take that up two levels to be able to compete with physical teams like Toronto and Philly."
This scheme has worked for Brooklyn all season, as they've defeated the Raptors once and Sixers twice this season. And though the playoffs are a new beast for the surprising Nets to attack, they are confident a quit exit won't be a guarantee in Brooklyn.