In attempting to crack the code regarding his team's dramatic turnaround since New Year's Day, going from 10-21 to 34-31, Nets coach Jason Kidd repeatedly has pointed to "getting healthy and having time together."
Yet neither theorem can be proved definitively.
Latest Nets stories
Since Jan. 1, the Nets have lost 60 man-games to injury, compared with 62 before the calendar turned. That includes the last 10 games missed by Kevin Garnett because of back spasms, and a four-game absence of Deron Williams with a sprained ankle in January.
Though Kidd has adjusted to the loss of leading scorer Brook Lopez since his season-ending foot fracture Dec. 23, he has been forced to use seven starting lineups in 2014.
Compare those figures, through 66 games, to the same stage of the 2012-13 season, when the Nets had lost a mere 60 man-games to injury. All last season, 17 Nets saw action; so far this season, there have been 18.
A better explanation for the Nets' recent improvement appears to be Kidd's other mantra -- "trust."
Wednesday night, against Charlotte's Al Jefferson, who arrived with game averages of 21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds, the plan was that "we don't ask to play him one-on-one," Kidd said. "It's five guys all trying to help. We look for Mase to make it tough and not let him catch it in his sweet spot and have the other guys help . . . throw a lot of different looks and a lot of different bodies on Jefferson."
Against Boston tomorrow night, the Nets will debut blue jerseys with sleeves in a nod to the old Brooklyn Dodgers. Kidd said he wasn't sure he could play in sleeves, but "as long as we shoot the ball well, nobody complains."