Nets can expect Milwaukee’s best in Game 4

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How important is a 2-1 lead in a playoff series? In Amar’e Stoudemire’s career, it meant everything.

Four times, Stoudemire’s teams held that slim lead entering a pivotal Game 4 — and all four times they won the series. Five times his Suns, Knicks, and Heat trailed by that same margin — and all five times they were eliminated.

Stoudemire is on the right side again, albeit as a player development coach for the Nets, who are recovering from a loss to the Bucks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, but remain in the driver’s seat for the series entering Sunday’s matchup.

“For the Bucks right now, Game 4 is a must-win,” Stoudemire told The Post. “Same as it was in Game 3. They came out with a lot of energy. They are going to want to do the same in Game 4. For us in Brooklyn, we’re like, ‘Let’s get these guys out of here, win Game 4 and go home to seal the deal.’ Both teams are coming with some straight force.”

The retired six-time All-Star was speaking on behalf of GrowNYC, which is selling Stoudemire Farms’ pasture-raised Black Angus beef at the Union Square Greenmarket for fresh local produce. More than just the name behind the business, Stoudemire was under the tent to talk basketball and beef with New Yorkers while the Nets were in Milwaukee, where they have gone 0-3 in May and June.

So, does shooting in that arena become a psychological disadvantage?

“For sure not,” Stoudemire said. “Playoffs is a different ballgame. All that regular-season stuff goes out the window. Milwaukee won Game 3 in Milwaukee. We didn’t shoot very well, but we had a chance to win down the stretch, so I think Game 4 is going to be interesting.”

Asked how James Harden’s injury affected the series, Stoudemire said: “I think James is going to be OK. Once he gets a clean bill of health, we can’t wait to have him back in the lineup.”

But he deferred other on-court questions to Nets coach Steve Nash, who played with Stoudemire in Phoenix under current Nets assistant coach Mike D’Antoni from 2004-08.

“There’s meetings happening and I’m always around listening like a fly on a wall,” Stoudemire said. “I chime in when I need to, when I feel like it’s important. For the most part, I let the experts who have been doing this for 10-, 15-plus years take control, and I listen and learn.”

Five of the eight remaining head coaches in the playoffs are former NBA players, including three of Stoudemire’s contemporaries. If he so desires, the next step up the ladder is becoming a bench assistant.

“We’ll see what next year brings, but I’ve truly enjoyed it so far,” he said. “A lot of players on our team I’ve played against. A lot of young players respect the things I did from a basketball-standpoint or the off-court leadership roles I played. It’s easy to speak to them in a manner of trying to help them out.”

Stoudemire, the Knicks’ free-agent prize in 2010, made New York home to Stoudemire Farms in upstate Dutchess County in his entrepreneurial quest to “become something greater than just a basketball player.”

He said his products have sold out every week at the farmer’s market.

“I’m extremely excited that a lot of my fan base who know me from basketball can be a part of my newest venture,” Stoudemire said. “To be in Union Square with all the New Yorkers, it’s great to have that energy.”

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