Blatche, Teletovic in Sunday scuffle
October, 13, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Getty ImagesAndray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic had to be separated at practice on Sunday.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets big men Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic got into a scuffle during Sunday's practice and had to be separated.
No punches were thrown, and the team quickly resumed drills.
"It's great. That's competition. That's what it's all about," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "This team is put together to compete at a high level, and you saw that. There's nothing wrong with competition. Tempers might flare, but it's all out of respect, because we're all working hard, and as a coaching staff and as players, that's what you need."
Said onlooker Deron Williams: "It's normal. It happens every year, 10 times a year, if that. It's definitely competitive, guys are bumping and banging down there. You're liable to have a couple of those."
Williams called it a "typical NBA fight."
The Nets are going to need more fight -- especially on defense. Veteran Paul Pierce said the team took "a step back" on D in Saturday night's 99-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Of significant concern: the fact that the Nets gave up 50 points in the paint.
"We looked at it and just understand that we have to protect the paint if we want to be one of the top 10 teams in the league in defense," Kidd said. "It's something that we're concerned about because it's been two games in a row, but this is preseason, so this is the time to work on it. Again, you can see that today at practice, we tried to keep the ball out of the paint."
The best news for the Nets and their defensive struggles? Lead assistant Lawrence Frank, who has been away from the team due to personal reasons, was back on the court. Frank's energy appeared to be infectious.
"His energy was definitely missed the last couple days," Williams said.