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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
W2W4: Nets vs. Knicks

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks wrap up their four-game, regular-season series on Tuesday night at Barclays Center. The Knicks lead the series 2-1. All three of the previous games were blowouts. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

Playoff scenario: So here’s the deal: the Nets (44-36) can clinch the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a win over the Knicks. But regardless, they won’t know who their playoff opponent is until Wednesday night.

The remaining games for each team (all Wednesday night):

No. 5 Brooklyn: at Cleveland
No. 3 Toronto (48-33): at Knicks
No. 4 Chicago (48-33): at Charlotte
No. 6 Washington (43-38) at Boston

Tiebreakers: The Wizards have the tiebreaker over the Nets by virtue of their head-to-head record (3-0). The Raptors have the tiebreaker over the Bulls by virtue of their Atlantic Division title.

Who will play? The Nets are definitely without Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic. Teletovic's wife had twins. He will also miss Wednesday night's game.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce -- all game-time decisions -- will play.

The Knicks are without Carmelo Anthony, but Amar'e Stoudemire will play.

We’re taking over: Williams was asked again about the Nets being the only team in New York City playing playoff basketball. “It’s all part of the takeover,” Williams said, repeating what he previously said about how it’s good for Brooklyn’s brand.

Our bad: ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy criticized Johnson and Pierce for joking around and laughing late in their blowout loss on April 2 at Madison Square Garden. “He’s probably right,” Johnson said. “We shouldn’t have been laughing. I can’t remember honestly what Paul said, but it had to be super funny.”