Starting Five: Nets in need of a boost

Which player is most important to a Brooklyn Nets’ victory in Game 5?

Deron Williams: When Williams plays well (46 points, three turnovers in Games 1 and 3), the Nets win. When he doesn’t (25 points, eight turnovers in Games 2 and 4), they lose. The Nets need Williams to be at his best in Game 5, which means the $98 million man starts aggressive and finishes aggressive.

Joe Johnson: Johnson averaged 23.7 points in the first three games, but the Raptors double-teamed him in Game 4, holding him to seven points on seven shots. If it happens again in Game 5, Johnson’s teammates need to make the Raptors pay.

Paul Pierce: Pierce has been pretty good during the series (15.5 ppg, 46.8 percent). The Nets stole Game 1 on the road because of Pierce’s fourth-quarter heroics. Brooklyn will likely need big shots down the stretch in Game 5 -- something Pierce hasn’t proved he can provide every game.

Kevin Garnett: The Nets, as we’ve documented, are much better -- especially defensively -- when Garnett (99.2 defensive rating in the series) is on the court. But Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd is intent on giving Garnett a lot of rest -- too much, perhaps.

Question: So who do you think the Nets need most? Williams? Johnson? Pierce? Garnett? Someone we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Stat to know: The Nets’ bench hasn’t produced in the series as they have averaged 23.8 points, 36.7 percent shooting, 15.2 percent 3-point field goal shooting and 61.5 percent free-throw shooting

Up next: Game 5, Nets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. at Air Canada Centre