Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Nets eager for tomorrow's opener
(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)
Gerald Wallace summed the Nets' feelings up rather easily.
"It feels like we haven’t played in two months," the swingman said following Friday's practice at the Barclays Center. "We are anxious to get out on the court and just play against somebody other than ourselves."
Due to the effects of superstorm Sandy, the Nets' opener scheduled for Thursday at the Barclays Center against the Knicks was postponed and rescheduled for Nov. 26. So, they've had to readjust and prepare for Saturday's contest with the Raptors, meaning it will be 10 days in between games.
Their schedule since training camp started has been a weird one to say the least. After starting camp Oct. 2, they didn't play their first preseason game until Oct. 13, then had five games in a seven-day span before being forced to wait five days for their preseason finale against the Knicks at Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 24.
"I think that’s the toughest part," Wallace said. "It was like we were off, but our [first scheduled] preseason game [against the Knicks] got postponed, that pushed a lot of our preseason games right within one week. Then, we were off for two, three weeks and now the season is about to start up.
"So it’s kind of rough for us, but at the same time, it gave us a great opportunity to work on some things that we needed to work on, and build up some excitement for that first game."
But at least the Nets can finally say, Saturday is a game day.
"Tomorrow is a game," Avery Johnson said with a smile. "We’ve watched so many games on TV and obviously we do a lot in scouting our opponents. But yeah, tomorrow is a game. No more simulated games or preseason games, so I know the guys are ready to go."
That's the way Kris Humphries sees it.
"Man, we haven’t played in forever," the power forward said. "We’ve been just scrimmaging. We‘re anticipating just playing a game. Unfortunately, it wasn't Thursday, but things happen and we’ve just got to roll with it.
"We’re just tired of scrimmaging each other," he added. "We want to play against someone else. It’s been a while and we are ready to go."
Yes, Johnson's crew is champing at the bit.
"Yup, I could tell by their focus today," he said. "They are just ready to play and this would have been more of a recovery day for us. We played the [simulated] game yesterday, we worked really hard. So, that’s the way we treated it, as a recovery day. We watched some video, worked on some parts of our game offensively and defensively, worked on some end-of-game situations offensively and defensively.
"Now, it’s just a matter of time of getting these games on video, and seeing where we are. Until we play against another real live opponent, it’s all simulations. And we are glad that’s over."