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For Nets, it’s not the wins, but the way they’ve won

NBA: Preseason-New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

If the Nets beat the 76ers on Wednesday in the preseason finale, it will be the first time they’ve won four straight games in regular or preseason since April 2015, when they won six straight.

Preseason or not, it would be a positive for a team that’s won so rarely the last two seasons. And as Jeremy Lin says, it’s not so much the wins, but how they’ve won.

“[What do I take] from the actual wins themselves? Nothing. Let’s say, for example, we were 0-3, but we were still playing the same way, my takeaways would be pretty much the same. It’s just I think we’re playing the right way,” Lin said. “If we could draw it up, [Sunday’s win] is how it would be, gritty defense leading to unselfish offense.”

The Nets have indeed benefited from playing the lowly Knicks twice this preseason, but they have put up some nice numbers, on defense in particular. They’re first in offensive rebound percentage, second in defensive rating, offensive rating and net rating, and have won their three games by an average margin of 20.1 points.

“We’re just looking to get better everyday whether it’s preseason, regular season, looking to go out, play hard defense, play together every single game whether its preseason or regular season,” said Caris LeVert who’s played in one of the three games. “Those are the most important things.”

Of course, in the standings, they’re 0-0 and will be until the night of October 18 when they face the Pacers in the first game of the season. But as we pointed out in a tweet Monday, at least for the Brooklyn Nets, preseason has been a predictor of regular season success ... or failure.

Compare those numbers to what the Nets did in the regular season in each of those years. Preseason was pretty much on target.

Are they getting ahead of themselves? Maybe so, but Lin knows the grind of 82 regular season games awaits ... with all its uncertainty.

“In my mind, it’s like, ‘OK, wow. We have a chance to be a great team,’” Lin said. “But the season is another level ... I’m just wary to draw too much from preseason. We’re all 0-0. But I definitely see us heading in the right direction, and that’s extremely encouraging to me.”