DURHAM, N.C. - Thaddeus Young chuckled while describing the difficulty of mastering teachings of the coaching staff early in training camp.
Picking up things quickly isn't easy and Young made sure he mentioned that Tuesday to undrafted rookie point guard Ryan Boatright, who apparently felt Lionel Hollins' wrath during the Nets' first practice of the season at Duke University.
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"It's very tough. Coach was riding some of the young guys, but it happens," Young said. "I was telling Boatright that Coach is tough, man. You've just got to pay attention and just learn everything on the fly. Sometimes you might think you are doing it the right way, but Coach might want you to be very specific on how he wants you to do it and he's going to ride you.
"That's the biggest thing. Just don't let it get to you."
Establishing a sturdy base is Hollins' primary task during this five-day camp. He held off on getting a peek at potential on-floor personnel combinations, indicating it's not important at the moment. He likens this stage to laying the foundation of a building, and in construction terms, he's certainly pleased with the first truckload of concrete.
"I just thought it was a very good first day," Hollins said. "It was a lot of energy, it was a lot of talk. A lot of the guys are picking up things and we were able to get through drills quickly . . . The effort was outstanding for the first day. I was pleased."
Hollins isn't anticipating the hiccups he encountered installing offensive and defensive schemes in his first season with the Nets, in part because he has a better gauge on his veteran players. Ripping up a philosophy and implementing a new one on the fly certainly had its challenges.
"Last year was drastic," Hollins said, "because we tried to put a whole new system in on the presumption we had certain type of players that once I got to know them, I found out we didn't have it. And that's what happened to me in Memphis. I came in, I wanted to play a certain way and I found out we didn't have the personnel to play that way. So we had to back up and change."
Joe Johnson knows patience is going to be paramount for the Nets.
"When you've got somewhat of a new team like we've got, it takes time," Johnson said. "It takes time to learn guys, how they react to certain things and how to coach certain guys. That's the part that he's learning, and he's trying to see guys' strengths and weaknesses. It will take time throughout training camp, on through preseason -- even through the regular season.
"So those are things that we've got to look to and try to touch up on quick."