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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Brooklyn Nets training camp primer

By Mike Mazzeo

Jason Kidd
How will Jason Kidd fare as a first year head coach?
Last season, the Nets established themselves in Brooklyn.

This season, their second at Barclays Center, they have bigger goals in mind, namely making a run at a championship.

After an impressive offseason in which Nets brass added Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and first-year coach Jason Kidd, the team is ready to do some damage in the Eastern Conference.

Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is spending nearly $190 million on his 2013-14 roster, so expectations, unsurprisingly, are quite high.

Will the Nets be able to meet them?

The team begins training camp Tuesday at Duke University. Before that, the Nets will hold media day at Barclays Center on Monday.

With that in mind, here are three pressing questions surrounding the team:

How will Kidd fare in his first year?

You’ve probably heard this by now: Kidd has never coached an NBA game before. No matter, the Nets believe in him. He’s going to have to prove to Garnett, Pierce and Deron Williams -- his close friend -- that he has what it takes to be a coach in this league. Given the talent on the roster, Kidd’s toughest job is going to be managing personalities and minutes, making sure his players are healthy for the playoffs. Developing chemistry and an identity early in the season is of the utmost importance.

How quickly will they develop chemistry?

D-Will led some players’ only workouts in Los Angeles late in the offseason. Recently, several of the players have been working out at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. The Nets added seven newcomers during the summer -- plus a coach. They have several All-Stars on the roster, so maybe it won’t be that tough a transition. Still, everyone is going to have to buy in -- and sacrifice shots and stats -- so the team can win. Kidd wants to limit isolation sets and play team basketball. Sounds like a good idea.

How are they going to stay healthy?

KG is 37. Pierce is 35. Terry is 36. Andrei Kirilenko is 32. Joe Johnson is 32. D-Will, 29, is coming off an injury-plagued season. Brook Lopez, 25, is coming off offseason surgery. Keeping these guys healthy throughout a grueling 82-game regular season is going to be of paramount importance. After all, championships aren’t won in the regular season. It won’t be surprising to see these guys get games off on an occasional or regular basis, even if KG is opposed to it. That’s why being so deep is so important.