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Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Starting Five: Goals for preseason

By Mike Mazzeo

Finally, an actual game.

After a busy offseason and a week of training camp at Duke University, the Nets will open up their preseason slate against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in D.C.

What exactly do the Nets want to get out of preseason?

Health: The Nets are clearly being cautious with Deron Williams (right ankle) because they want him to be ready to go for the team's regular-season opener on Oct. 30. D-Will has been limited in practice and will likely miss Saturday night's game against Philadelphia as well. Jason Terry (left knee) is also out. Terry did some contact in practice Tuesday and is hopeful he can go through an entire full-contact practice Wednesday.

Chemistry: With so many newcomers -- eight in all, including first-year coach Jason Kidd -- developing chemistry is huge. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have to figure things out with incumbents Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and D-Will (when he finally plays). Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry also need to develop chemistry with their new teammates. All these players -- in-spite of their stature in the game -- seem to be willing to sacrifice individual numbers for the betterment of the team. That should go a long way.

Experience for J-Kidd: Kidd needs the preseason as much as anyone to get comfortable coaching. It's huge for him to gain respect, implement his system and get used to subbing players, calling timeouts and drawing up plays. Lawrence Frank and John Welch will definitely be helping Kidd in those areas. Patience is key here.

Battles: There really aren't many, but backup point guard could be one. While Shaun Livingston is experienced, Tyshawn Taylor has a lot of upside. Both players have been working with the first team in D-Will's absence. Interested to see who comes out here.

Our stories from Monday:

Not Kidding: J-Kidd makes his coaching debut Tuesday night. Ohm Youngmisuk, who will have you covered for ESPN NewYork.com at Verizon Center, writes about the first-year coach and what he's likely to encounter on the job.

KG bringing D: Brook Lopez talked about how KG is going to improve the team's defense. No doubt about that, as I wrote in the blog.

Notes: I also wrote in the blog about J-Kidd’s debut, Lopez's playing weight and provided an injury update.

Eurosteppin' to the AM: (In honor of Ohm). Check out how Andray Blatche likes to gets down 5th Avenue. http://allball.blogs.nba.com/2013/10/07/andray-blatche-works-on-his-eurostep/

What's next: Nets-Wizards. Enjoy the game and please come back to ESPNNY for all your Nets coverage. Thank you for reading.