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Brooklyn Nets attendance rising as team wins ... and stars emerge

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NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Greg Joyce of the Post reports Wednesday morning, the Nets 17-5 record over the last six weeks is having a positive effect on attendance at Barclays Center. There are still empty seats, but a lot fewer of them.

Moreover, the fans have become more enthusiastic, less willing to sit back and let interlopers from other teams take the lead at the Nets home gym. Joyce notes...

During the Nets’ first 13 games at home this season — in which they went just 3-10 — their average attendance was 13,813. In their last 11 home games — in which they are 10-1 — the average attendance has bumped up to 14,889.

That’s still more than 2,500 short of the arena’s capacity of 17,732 for NBA games, and the Nets are still last in the league with a season average of 14,303, but progress is progress. (The Nets are 10th in road attendance, according to ESPN. You figure it out.)

The larger issue, though, is that crowd enthusiasm is noticeably on the rise.

“I put it like this: I think our fans, even though they’ve been around the last few years and they’ve just been showing up to games just to watch the show, not really caring who wins, just anticipating a good game. I think recently fans are showing up with the Brooklyn-type pride and wanting to see us do well,” D’Angelo Russell said Tuesday. “The atmosphere is just amazing.

“I feel it when we’re playing and these hot teams are coming in here and they’ve got those players on the other team that brings that excitement and you feel the fans cheering for those guys a little more over the most recent years, but I would just say since this year’s kind of started, we’ve had a better feel for that.”

Thanking the fans was DLo’s top priority post-game on Monday.

It helps that DLo is emerging as a bona fide star, a player who fans watch intently every time he has the ball. And with Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, when he returns, the Nets will have a trio of players fans can relate to.

Moreover, the Nets upgrading of The Block, home of the Brooklyn Brigade, has been a big help. Their witty chants are getting notice not just at Barclays Center but among the press corps, local as well as those out-of-town. Very Brooklyn.

The Nets are home all week. Having already beaten the Kings by 29 on Monday, they face the Magic Wednesday and then the Knicks on Friday night. Knick fans, aware that the Nets don’t gouge their customers, have come in droves to Brooklyn and fill at least half the seats for the intercity rivalry. So Friday will be a good test of the new enthusiasm.