Monday , Apr , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nets have easy road to playoffs

(Sports Network) – It’s definitely going to be easy for the New Jersey Nets
before the postseason creeps up in a few days.

After completing a home-and-home sweep of the Boston Celtics, the Nets will
face two more disgruntled clubs in Philadelphia and New York to close out the
2005-06 regular season.

Lawrence Frank’s squad already captured the Atlantic Division and the No. 3
seed in the Eastern Conference, and is one victory away for 50 on the
season.

One more win will give New Jersey the second 50-win season in its NBA history.
The team record is 52 wins set during the 2001-02 campaign.

The Nets, who are 6-3 in the month of April, have the confidence of owner
Bruce Ratner in their run for an NBA title. Ratner noted how the team is fun
to watch and the character of the squad is the most satisfying thing.

What’s also satisfying is that New Jersey reached the playoffs for the
fifth consecutive season. Last year, the Nets were swept in the first round
by the Miami Heat.

New Jersey will try to avoid history this season and will have a healthy Vince
Carter to help. Carter is averaging 23.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds
over his last five games.

Carter, Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd were all resting late in the fourth
quarter of Sunday’s 95-93 win over Boston. The victory in the back end of a
home-and-home series was New Jersey’s 17th in 20 tries.

NJN