Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn looks on in the first...

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn looks on in the first half of an NBA game against the Heat at Barclays Center on Feb. 15. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

For the better part of 3  1⁄2 seasons, the formula was simple: Get into the fourth quarter and then let Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving take over.

It was a plan of attack that helped the Nets qualify for the playoffs for three straight years. But the dream of championship parades down Flatbush Avenue never materialized, and now two of the most talented players in franchise history are plying their trades in Phoenix and Dallas.

Without Durant and Irving, the Nets are deeper but do not possess the kind of star or stars who can win games by themselves in the fourth quarter. Instead, they have become a team that has to have everyone contribute in order to win.

“It’s still going to be a collective group trying to get us into position to be in a ballgame in the fourth quarter,” coach Jacque Vaughn said after practice Thursday at the HSS Training Center before the team flew to Chicago. The closer-by-committee Nets (34-24) will resume the season Friday night against the Bulls (26-33).

“Like the [loss to Philadelphia on Feb. 11], Mikal [Bridges] probably deserved to shoot the last ball if we needed one to be shot,” Vaughn said. “I’m quite sure Spencer [Dinwiddie] is going to be on that list. We’ve seen Cam Thomas on that list, so it’ll be a collective.”

It is an unconventional approach but one that could pay dividends.

“It’s not your typical, ordinary NBA and we’re not [going to] play that way,” Vaughn said. “I can’t coach that way. And so it does put us in a different area than other teams. I think it makes you mentally tough, but also — I’m being honest with you — when your number is called, guys are producing, so I think it is different and hopefully we can use it to our advantage because we are deep.”

The remainder of the regular season will allow Vaughn to determine how to best utilize his roster, such as pinpointing who he wants on the floor late in close games and who he wants taking shots that will determine the winner or loser of games.

Which is where the final 24 games of the regular season come into play. He will have enough of a sample size on which to base his decision-making.

“It’s interesting how you look at it,” Vaughn said. “I’ve said before [the trades] happened, the quote-unquote closer relieves and gives the other guys a little stress release. So there’s something to have those guys at the end of the game. I think we’ll continue to find out about our group. How we can use each individual to get us a good shot, a good quality shot at the end, which is most important.”

What is unimportant is who takes the shot, at least according to Bridges.

“We’re all [players] at the end of the day and nobody on this team is scared of [the big] moment,” he said. “We’re all going to be ready.”

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