Nets Starting Five 10/21/13

Updated: October 21, 2013



[box]WALL STREET JOURNAL Can Brooklyn Knock Miami Off Its Perch?

If the experts are right, the Brooklyn Nets are in a position to take proper umbrage with those assertions. Bolstered by first-time coach Jason Kidd and the acquisitions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, among others, the Nets barely resemble the milquetoast team that got knocked out of the first round of last season’s playoffs.

Case in point: Immediately after being criticized by LeBron for hypocrisy, Pierce responded with a hard foul in the first quarter of an essentially meaningless preseason game against Miami, sending a message within the NBA’s accepted guidelines of meting out payback through stiff shoulders and intent stares.

The back-and-forth was a reminder that bad blood sticks around regardless of what colors are worn. Until Pierce and Garnett retire, LeBron will always find sour words for them in the press. “Those epic confrontations with Boston–while James was in Cleveland and then in Miami–shaped him,” Ken Berger writes for CBS Sports. “They didn’t make him the best player in the world, and they don’t deserve all the credit for making him a champion. But those playoff series changed him. They will always be a part of his basketball psyche.”[/box]

[box]NY DAILYNEWS –  Nets’ Deron Williams feels like he’s ‘not part of this team right now’ due to ankle injury 

The cat-and-mouse game between Deron Williams and the media continued for another day with Williams again feigning appreciation for all the questions about his famously tweaked ankle while revealing little. In between dodging questions on his health and his return, Williams provided a window into his mental suffering, admitting he didn’t always feel a part of the team because of his inability to participate fully in practice and in games.

“It’s frustrating having to sit out, frustrating having to watch them play games in the preseason,” Williams said on Sunday. “They’ve had a lot of battles out there, a lot of great practices and I want to be a part of them. So at times I feel like I’m not part of this team right now because I’m not out there.[/box]

[box] ESPN D-Will’s status still in limbo

There is no word on whether he’ll play in the team’s regular-season opener in Cleveland on Oct. 30.

“We’re only on Oct. 19. I’m just trying to get to the 20th,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said Saturday.

When asked if Williams could play in one of the team’s two remaining preseason games, Kidd replied, “I have no idea. I’m just worried about what he can do tomorrow.”

When asked if something changed with his point guard’s status, Kidd said, “That we’re taking it day by day. Keep searching. It’s a record. Just push play.

“It’s just the process of day to day. Things change. You go forward, you might take a step back, but we’re only going forward right now.” [/box]

[box]NYPOST Pierce, Garnett won’t waste Boston return on preseason

Pierce and Nets coach Jason Kidd confirmed after Saturday’s practice the two forwards, who came to Brooklyn in a blockbuster draft-night trade in June, will not be in the lineup when the Nets face the Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

“As of right now, those two won’t play in that game,” Kidd said. “They got their work in [Saturday], and throughout the week they’ll get their work, but they won’t participate in Boston.”

That was the only decision that ever made sense regarding Pierce and Garnett, and something Pierce said would be the case earlier this offseason.

“I’d rather do it once than twice,” Pierce said when asked about making his Boston return.[/box]

[box]USA TODAY – Reloaded Nets say egos ‘are behind us’ in title chase

The Brooklyn Nets spent this offseason turning a playoff team into an instant championship contender. Soaring over the luxury-tax threshold, the Nets have the most expensive roster in NBA history, spending more than $100million on salaries. All this for a team that didn’t even lead its own city last season, with the New York Knicks winning five more regular-season games and reaching the second round of the playoffs while the Nets were bounced in the first round.

It’d be easy for the Nets to focus on climbing out of the shadow of Madison Square Garden’s more popular and historic tenants.

“Our owner (Mikhail Prokhorov), he didn’t bring us here to win the city of New York,” veteran forward Reggie Evans says. “He brought us here to win a championship.”[/box]

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