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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Avery says Nets didn't take Irving seriously

By Mike Mazzeo

Nets coach Avery Johnson admitted that his team didn't take Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving "seriously" last season.

Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving
Point guards Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving will match up at Barclays Center.
In three games against the Nets in 2011-12, Irving, then 19, averaged 23.7 points on 49 percent shooting. His team won two of those three games.

"I don't know how this sounds, but we didn't take him seriously," Johnson said prior to Tuesday night's game against Cleveland at Barclays Center. "You try to explain to our players that this kid is good. I don't care if he's 19, 17, whatever age he is. This kid can play.

"I think we'll be ready tonight to pay really close attention to him."

Irving is averaging 22.9 points, 6.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds for the Cavaliers this season.

"He has no weaknesses," Nets point guard Deron Williams said of the reigning Rookie of the Year. "He's just getting better and better."

MILESTONE? The Nets (3-2) haven't been two games over .500 since Johnson's first two games as coach (Nov. 3-5, 2011, 2-0).

"Really? I'm gonna have to check that," Johnson said.

As for getting off to a good start?

"That Minnesota game definitely hurt us, as far as that's concerned," D-Will said, "but we are a game over .500 and it's just about taking it one game at a time."

The Nets, who have won two in a row, had just one three-game winning streak last season.