Nets Starting Five 11/1/13

Updated: November 1, 2013


[box]WSJ Pierce Going Incognito in Brooklyn

Noticeably absent from the crowd were Pierce’s fans, most of whom reside in New England. A few autograph-seekers approached. Pierce jokingly asked a man to remove his Knicks hat. But just as many people were confused by the commotion.

“They recognize [me], but a lot of times when I’m taking my kids to the park or something, it’s ‘Hey Paul, what’s up?’ and they’ll keep going,” said Pierce, who will take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat Friday night in Brooklyn. “The city is just so fast-paced. Everybody’s moving. They’ve just got time to say ‘What’s up?’ and keep going.”

He has been taking advantage of his newfound anonymity by simply walking outside. Even when he visited the city as a member of the Celtics, Pierce said, he frequently walked the streets just because he could. Now he’s regularly walking and driving those streets, like the ones between his Manhattan residence and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

“Takes me about 30 minutes to Barclays,” Pierce said of his drive to work. “I’ve taken three different routes.”


[box]NYDAILYNEWS –  Brook Lopez says Nets game vs. Heat will be ‘statement game’

Instead Lopez views Friday’s game as a barometer of sorts to determine just how far the win-now Nets have come since last season’s disappointing finish. In the offseason, the Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko, who is expected to play on Friday after missing the opener with back spasms, with the hopes of challenging the Heat for a championship.

“I think it will definitely be a statement game,” Lopez said following practice at the team’s East Rutherford facility on Thursday. “It’s going to be a great benchmark for us. We absolutely believe we’re capable of competing with them and that’s something we’re going to want to be doing down the line, obviously, in the playoffs. So we’re definitely anticipating a high-energy, important game.”

“I’m focused on doing what I need to help (my team)and that’s always my focus,” he told the Daily News before the Heat’s stunning loss in Philadelphia. “I try not to take any preconceived emotions into a game. To me every opponent is the same.”

The hostility hasn’t just consisted of pointed words. When the teams met in the preseason in Brooklyn on Oct. 17, Pierce lowered his shoulder into the chest of an oncoming James for a hard foul. Miami’s Chris Bosh disputed the idea that the foul was intended as a message.


[box] ESPN Notes: AK-47 on guarding LeBron

It wasn’t a slight at James by any means. Kirilenko was actually paying LeBron the highest of compliments.

“For me personally, I would say Kevin Durantand Kobe Bryant, because they’re very motivated to play with the ball,” Kirilenko said Thursday night. “LeBron is very unselfish. He will pass it as soon as a guy is open. Kevin and Kobe, unless the guy is wide open, they will keep going at you. That’s why it makes it twice as hard to play against those guys.””[/box]

[box] NYPOST Nets have something to prove against Miami

“I think it will definitely be a statement game,” he said. “It’s going to be a great benchmark for us. We absolutely think we’re capable of competing with them. It’s something we’re going to be wanting to do down the line in the playoffs, so we’re definitely anticipating a high-energy, important game.”

“It’s Game 2,” he said. “If you’re saying Game 2 is a statement game, you’re missing the process. This is a marathon, a journey and we have a long ways to go. It just happens we’re playing the Heat.”

First, it’s the home-opener in a season that carries the first real championship aspirations since Kidd was wearing a Nets uniform. It’s the first chance for the home crowd to see all the new acquisitions — Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry — in a real game. It’s the first chance for the new team to bond with a fan base hungry to be recognized as one of the elite franchises in the NBA. It’s a chance to make a statement that all the hype surrounding the team is warranted, and there’s no reason to believe this can’t be a magical year.


[box]NEWSDAY Brooklyn’s new blood spices up rivalry with Heat

The bad blood between the former Celtics trio and the Heat extends back a few seasons and was reignited two weeks ago when James said Garnett and Pierce should apologize for criticizing Ray Allen last year. Allen left the Celtics for the Heat a year before Garnett and Pierce were traded to the Nets.

The signature moment from that game was Pierce drilling James with a hard bump in the open court, an unusually intense play for a preseason game. Pierce called the foul a message to the league, but it’s certainly not a coincidence that he chose to make his point on James.

Pierce has enjoyed some success against the Heat, which is more than the Nets can claim. Brooklyn has lost 13 straight games to Miami.


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