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5 keys to the Nets' season

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by Al Iannazzone
The Record [Not Online]

1. Kidd's health

He's mentally ready, and physically able. Kidd hasn't played more than 66 games the past two seasons. As talented as the Nets are, they need Kidd, more than anyone, to go far.

2. The big four

With defenses focusing on Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic could reap the benefits. The second-year big man continues to improve and show toughness.

3. Hot shots

Jeff McInnis, Lamond Murray, Scott Padgett and Marc Jackson were acquired to make teams pay for doubling the three stars. If their shots fall consistently, the Nets will be tougher to stop.

4. Stopping teams

Coach Lawrence Frank stressed defense over and over in the preseason, and will continue all year. The Nets aren't the Suns. They can't outscore teams. They have to be stingy.

5. Going deep

Frank could go 10, 11 or 12 deep if he wants. The most productive reserves will play. Keeping everyone happy will be tricky, but as long as the Nets win, no one should complain.

- Al Iannazzone