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Friday, October 19, 2012
D-Will: 'We're not there yet'

By Mike Mazzeo

With one game remaining on their preseason schedule, the Brooklyn Nets are far from where they want to be.

“We’re not there yet,” Deron Williams said after the Nets lost their second consecutive preseason game, 106-96, to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at the Barclays Center.

The Nets played a lot better than they did on Thursday night against the Boston Celtics.

Their “Big Three” of D-Will, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez combined for 63 points.

Still, they failed to come up with defensive stops or clutch shots when they needed them in crunch time. Stretch four Thaddeus Young lit the Nets up for 24 points, while Philadelphia converted 49.4 percent of its field goal attempts -- another unacceptable number.

“We’ve only been together for three weeks,” Williams conceded.

The Nets, after all, are trying to transform themselves from a perennial doormat into a playoff contender. And with nine newcomers, it’s going to take time.

“You hope things jell faster than they do, but who says they won’t?” Williams said. “Sometimes, it just clicks. I think it takes watching more film and seeing yourself mess up before you get it.”

The Nets face the New York Knicks next Wednesday in their final preseason tuneup.

Then the wait until Nov. 1 -- a wait that will include several practices to get things ironed out -- begins.

Williams says he doesn’t put too much stock in the regular season.

“I’ve been on teams we went 8-0 and then don’t start off great,” he said. “It’s tough to tell. You’ve got young guys playing that might not make the team, guys aren’t playing their full minutes. It’s tough to get into a rhythm, but it is important to try and come together as a team and jell as a team. It’s good and bad.”