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How do the New Jersey Nets relax in between games?
ESPN the Magazine "Game Night" with the Nets
They boo each other. Or at least try to.
Booray (a cross between Texas Hold'em and spades) is the card game of choice for the Atlantic Division champions. The object is to try and collect as many books as possible with the five cards in your hand.
Don't have the suit that's played? Feel free to cut with the trump, which changes from deal to deal. Don't have any trump? Well, you're likely not to get any books.
"I used to play with Clyde Drexler in Portland when I was a rookie," says forward Cliff Robinson. "A lot of teams have been playing this game, so it's been around for a long time. We play a friendly game. I hear Cleveland plays a pretty tough game."
Jefferson jokes, "Yeah, we don't want anybody to go out and have a bad game, so we try to keep it cool."
No word on whether the guys played before their 15-point win in Game 2, but if they did, they should consider taking the deck out again before Game 4. The Nets suffered losses in Game 1 and 3 of their first round series against the Pacers.
"I like our chances to win a championship as much as anyone else's," says Robinson, who has been to the playoffs in all but one of his 17 seasons.
"It's such a different game in the playoffs because everybody's capable of winning. It's about getting there and playing well."
The Nets have good reason to be optimistic. They were the only team to have two double-digit winning streaks this season. They also still have key pieces of the squad (namely Jefferson, Collins and Jason Kidd) that made it to the 2002 and 2003 Finals. And they are 3-1 against Miami, the team they could face in the second round.
But they are still cautious.
"I tell you what, anybody that says Shaq is slowing down hasn't played against him," Jefferson says. "I agree," Collins says. "When he turns into you with that elbow, it still feels the same to me."
LZ Granderson is an editor at ESPN The Magazine. "Game Night" is an ESPN 360/Motion video feature and also appears in the Magazine. Sound off to Page 2 here. Sound off to Page 2 here.