Starting Five: Extra sweet with Knicks out?

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
6:00
AM ET
Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd told reporters in Orlando that he plans to keep resting players before the playoffs begin.

Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston sat out Wednesday's loss to the Magic, and some other Nets could sit Friday against the Atlanta Hawks.

Barring a surprising finish, Brooklyn should finish with the No. 5 seed in the East, while Atlanta has a magic number of two to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot.

All that being said, are you happy about this? It gives Atlanta a better chance to win, and the Hawks getting in means the New York Knicks stay out. And we all know how much Nets and Knicks fans love one another.

But seriously, how happy would you be if the Knicks don’t make the playoffs? Would that qualify as a successful season for the Nets? Some fans like it just as much, if not more, when the team they hate loses.

The Nets have maintained that their sole focus is their own team, not the team across the East River. And Brooklyn isn’t resting its players because it hurts New York’s chances of qualifying.

But it's a topic for debate, to be sure.

Question: What do you think about all of this? Let us know your feelings in the Comments section below.

In case you missed it: The Nets and Sacramento Kings will play two preseason games in China next season.

Stats to know: If Pierce plays Friday, he is just five points shy of becoming the 18th player in NBA history to reach the 25,000 career points mark. Also, the Nets have gone 0-4 following victories over the Miami Heat.

Up next: Nets vs. Hawks, Friday night at the Barclays Center.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.7 3.8 1.0 34.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.8
StealsD. Williams 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6