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Brooklyn Nets first in Japanese Convention to clinch playoff berth

The Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff berth Tuesday evening after defeating the Toronto Raptors 116-103 in Tampa, Florida. They’re the primary Japanese Convention workforce to substantiate a spot within the NBA’s postseason.

Now, the Nets can slip no decrease than sixth within the Japanese Convention standings.

“It is nice,” first-year Nets coach Steve Nash mentioned of securing a spot within the playoffs. “I believe we have now our eyes on larger issues, nevertheless it’s a pleasant first step to clinch a berth. For this group, dealing with all we have confronted, to be on this place with 10 video games left may be very constructive.”

Nets guard Joe Harris mentioned James Harden — who stays sidelined with a hamstring pressure — talked about clinching a postseason berth to a number of Nets gamers on Tuesday. Brooklyn large man Jeff Inexperienced mentioned that after the entire accidents the workforce has been via — together with enjoying massive stretches with out Harden, Kevin Durant, Tyler Johnson and others — having a assured playoff spot is rewarding however not the workforce’s ultimate objective.

“It’s one thing that we will hold our hats on,” Inexperienced mentioned. “That is one thing we could be pleased with, however we even have to appreciate that that is not the objective. … We’ve got to tackle the subsequent step, and that is specializing in what we have to accomplish within the playoffs to get to our final objective.”

The Nets (42-20) occupy the No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention. The Philadelphia 76ers path the Nets by 1½ video games.

“We’ve got to be excited with a few of the issues that we have carried out, however we won’t be content material and we have now to proceed to work,” Inexperienced mentioned.

The Nets have 10 video games remaining within the common season and are enjoying simply 4 of them at dwelling in Barclays Heart. Brooklyn has but to place collectively a major run with a totally wholesome roster.

Harden — who’s capturing and doing power work — nonetheless has “a methods to go,” in accordance with Nash, earlier than he’ll return. Nash added that the workforce won’t get many — if any — video games with a full-strength roster earlier than the postseason. The Nets are additionally with out Nicolas Claxton, who has missed 5 video games whereas within the league’s COVID-19 security protocols.

The Nets’ Massive Three of Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving nonetheless have performed simply seven video games collectively.

“I believe everybody’s in a constructive temper,” Nash mentioned of the group. “And simply need to maintain constructing, maintain getting higher, maintain bettering earlier than the playoffs begin, which is in a restricted period of time.”

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