THE FIRST ROUND; FALL TO DETROIT IN CLASSIC SEVEN GAME SERIES.
FINAL RECORD: 47-35
For the third consecutive season, the Nets won the Atlantic Division title and returned to the NBA Playoffs as the two-time defending NBA Eastern Conference Champions. That marked the first time the franchise had ever posted three straight division championships. On January 26, 2004, Lawrence Frank took over as head coach and in his first full month on the job he was named the ‘Eastern Conference Coach of the Month’ during the month of February. The Nets recorded their best record in franchise history in a month as far as winning percentage in February, at 11- 2 (.846). The Nets set a franchise-best 14-game winning streak (10 in February) and had the best record in the NBA as far as winning percentage in February. Frank recorded the longest winning streak (13) by any new manager/coach to start a coaching career in any sport. In addition to the team accolades, the Nets’ Jason Kidd became the first New Jersey player to cop back-to-back NBA single-season assist titles, as he led the league with a 9.2 average, his fifth assists title in his magnificent 10-year career (1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03). Richard Jefferson ended the campaign as the Nets leading scorer at 18.5 points, the highest average of his career. Jefferson led four Nets in double-figure scoring, including Kenyon Martin (16.7 ppg), Jason Kidd (15.5 ppg) and Kerry Kittles (13.1 ppg). Martin was also the team’s leading rebounder at 9.5 rebounds.