Nets set for first rehearsal at Barclays

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
12:33
PM ET
Tonight’s Nets-Wizards preseason game -- the first (unofficial) game at the $1 billion Barclays Center in Brooklyn -- means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

“It’s been quite a few sleepless nights for the members of our coaching staff, but not because anything’s wrong,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “We’re just excited. We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.

“When you’ve been selling vision and patience, as I have for my two years ever since I’ve been here -- talking about this arena and having some sort of home-court advantage -- it’ll be pretty good to see what kind of crowd we get tonight. I heard it’s going to be a good one.

“We heard some Brooklyn chants down in Atlantic City (on Saturday night against the 76ers). We haven’t heard much chanting at all on the road, so that was pretty nice.”

The Nets practiced on the Barclays Center court on Oct. 7, but it’s going to take some time to get acclimated to their new home.

“I might shed a tear,” point guard Deron Williams joked. “You never know how something’s gonna feel until you go out and feel it, so ask me after the game.”

Said D-Will’s backcourt mate Joe Johnson: “Everybody is super-excited, I think. We all feel as though this is a fresh start, and we want to make the best of it.”

" Johnson said that shooting guard MarShon Brooks (right foot tendinitis) will definitely miss the team’s next two preseason games. Brooks got out of a walking boot Sunday and is currently getting adjusted to wearing orthotics.

Johnson said Brooks will walk around Monday and Tuesday, then get some conditioning in during the middle of the week, but there is no timetable for his return.

• Johnson said he liked the team’s ball movement in Saturday night’s 108-105 overtime victory over Philadelphia, but he believes the defense needs to improve in terms of defending the paint, blocking more shots and contesting more shots. Johnson added he liked what he saw from his first unit, but believes his second team needs to find more continuity.

• Johnson said his starters will play around the same number of minutes they played Saturday night, which means somewhere in the neighborhood of 24-28.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Deron Williams
PTS AST STL MIN
16.2 6.9 1.2 35.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.5
AssistsD. Williams 6.9
StealsD. Williams 1.2
BlocksB. Lopez 1.7