Saturday , Dec , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nets caught up in streaky season

(Sports Network) – The way the Atlantic Division is unfolding right now, I
wouldn’t be surprised if the division champion finishes the season with a
losing record.

New Jersey and New York are both currently tied at a game behind the Toronto
Raptors in the standings. The Nets stayed in the hunt by ending a four-game
losing streak with Friday’s 91-81 win over the Miami Heat in South Beach.

A big reason why the Nets were caught in a funk was star guard Vince Carter,
who is averaging 20.5 points over his previous eight games. He did respond
with 23 points in a win over Miami on Friday and gave head coach Lawrence
Frank something to smile about.

Also, with Allen Iverson shipped to the Western Conference, Carter moved into
second place in voting for the East’s starters.

The win over the defending-champion Heat can be considered a cheap one since
Miami was without Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. But in the end a win is
more important, especially when it ends a lengthy losing skid. The Nets have
suffered through losing streaks of three games or more three times this
season.

Nets forward Cliff Robinson is still out after undergoing arthroscopic left
knee surgery, but the 40-year-old could return to the court this upcoming
week. Robinson is averaging 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in seven games.

New Jersey is 7-14 without Robinson in the lineup.

NJN