The Brooklyn Nets play their third game in a four-games-in-five-nights set tonight, their second against the Boston Celtics. The game is broadcast on TNT tonight. A Nets game is broadcast on national television. Wait, check that. A Nets preseason game is broadcast on national television. The Nets have only been on national television by accident since 2008. Now they’re broadcasting preseason games on TNT with Marv in the booth. We talkin’ bout preseason. PRESEASON!
Current Boston Celtics guard & former New Jersey Net during the boatloads-of-fun 12-70 season Courtney Lee can see it’s all new. “It’s definitely weird,” Lee said about the arena. “We drove out here, saw the Barclays sign, and then coming to the bus — the bus has an elevator. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen something like that. It was definitely crazy, man.”
Lee, who’s been critical of the Nets before, spoke highly of the team. “They improved a lot. I mean, even with the ownership, Jay-Z doing concerts here getting the momentum behind it, I think that they just did a complete 180. I watched a couple preseason games and it looks like they had a nice crowd here, so that’s a lot different from when I played for the Nets.”
Avery Johnson reiterated the injury report — Jerry Stackhouse is out (knees), C.J. Watson will sit (rest), and MarShon Brooks is a game-time decision. He expects to run a more regular-seasoesque rotation tonight. Gerald Wallace was operating under the assumption that Brooks would play, though that was before Brooks went through the shootaround.
Johnson also spoke about the team’s individual defensive rating, separate from the standard points per possession metric. “We have our own defensive rating that we keep in-house outside of a stat sheet. There are about 10 or 12 different categories. We take the total number of possessions that we’re on defense, then subtract how many breakdowns we’ve had defensively based upon our system, game plan, and individual tendencies. Then we come to a score.
“There’s a certain number that we try to achieve and once we achieve that number, especially if we’ve played good offense, then we’re normally successful,” Johnson added. “We’re not there yet.”
Bonus: Deron Williams weighed in on the new 90-second pre-game rule: “It’s kind of quick. I don’t really have a routine. I just take off all my stuff, give everybody a high-five and try to get out there, and I was rushed last time. It’s a little short, but it is what it is.”