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DIME MAG PREVIEW: Friday's playoff game

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Dime Magazine will preview the action on every day of the NBA playoffs.

New Jersey vs. Indiana, Game 3

The playoffs are all about adjustments, and that's just what the Nets did in Game 2 against Indiana. Keith Van Horn took it hard to the smaller Ron Artest, K-Mart didn't let Jermaine O'Neal get within three miles of the basket and J-Kidd forgot that he doesn't know how to shoot. The result: a resounding N.J. victory, loads of confidence and momentum going into Game 3 tonight in Indy and a frustrated bunch of Pacers.
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No Pacer is more frustrated than Jermaine O'Neal, and you can't really blame him. After the show he put on in Game 1, he was rewarded with 40 minutes of being pushed around by an ultra-aggressive Kenyon Martin in Game 2. But J.O., like the rest of the Pacers, has got to suck it up in Game 3. They have to slow the game down and control the paint, not allowing the Nets to run. B-Mill has to take it to the less-mobile Todd MacCulloch and the shorter Aaron Williams. Tinsley, if he can even play (sprained knee), has to stop making stupid fouls because there's a severe dip in talent when Kevin Ollie checks into the game. And Reggie? Well he just has to continue being Reggie. For the Nets to win they have to play like they did on Monday night, only more so. To combat the Conseco crazies everyone's gonna have to be as aggressive as Kenyon. It would also be nice for Nets fans if Kerry, Lucious, and R.J. collectively decide to make an appearance in one of these games. Combined, these three have only scored 34 points this whole series. N.J. desperately needs these guys to step up. But no matter what, if Kidd's hot, these guys look like they're unstoppable. And at the moment Jason's hotter than Death Valley in July. So far in the second season he's averaging close to a triple double and shooting a very un-Kidd-like 47 percent from the floor. If he can bring these numbers with him to the Hoosier State, Reggie and the boys might have already seen the last of the Swamp for this season.
Tagged: Pacers, Nets, Jermaine O'Neal

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