Nets close defense-focused camp, optimism overflows

Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank
December 3, 2013: Lawrence Frank’s Demotion

Training camp officially wrapped up at Duke this afternoon, and players seemed pleased with the effort that went into the week.

“Guys worked hard,” said point guard Deron Williams. “Guys listened, worked hard. It was a good training camp overall.”

The Nets concluded their final day, again, by focusing mainly on defense. They closed the session with a scrimmage before getting on the bus to leave campus.

“We put in a little offense, but we are strictly thinking about defense right now,” said head coach Jason Kidd. “Guys had a great week. They’re being patient and working hard. We had no injuries, we’re coming out healthy, and guys fought through fatigue. We asked a lot out of them, we tip our hats to them. They responded.”

The issue of fatigue is another one that Kidd has continued to stress. It seems like the team is putting in heavy conditioning work now, so when those situations come on game day, mental instincts will kick in and not slow them down.

“As a player, I never went through five days (of training camp),” said Kidd. “As a coach, it was good. We threw a lot at them concept-wise. And then the last couple days, we got up and down to play a a little bit and see how they would respond. Again, guys fought through fatigue for five days straight, and we have to compliment those guys for coming to work.”

While the veteran guys have impressed the coaching staff and returning players, Williams made sure to give praise to backup sophomore point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

“Ty had a really good camp,” said Williams. “He had a lot to prove coming in, and with me being out, it gave him a lot of time to get a lot of reps out there. He slowed down, made great decisions out there on the floor. He’s still learning.”

All in all, it appears the experience in Raleigh was a positive one. Team bonding was taken advantage of, the practices were efficient and the group looks ready to take on the preseason starting Tuesday in Washington.

“It’s still a veteran group that knows how to work hard and came really prepared and ready to learn,” said Williams. “We got a lot accomplished these last few days.”

But the point guard still has one more request for next season, as he looks south and sees the champs training in the Bahamas.

“Maybe we’ll go somewhere more exotic next time,” he joked.