It appears as if Sean Kilpatrick is getting the hang of the Nets new offense.
Kilpatrick, one of a handful of Nets players who was on the roster last season, got his first start of the preseason at shooting guard in Monday night’s loss at Boston. He responded by leading the team with 15 points, shooting 6-for-10, with three rebounds in 19:59 of play.
After practice Tuesday in Brooklyn, Kilpatrick said he was just working on showing everything he can do to help the team.
“I want to be a more all-around player,” Kilpatrick said. “I think that’s something that will help this team and I want to continue to keep defending and being able to rebound. Rebounding for a big guard, I think that’s something that will help our team. Me being the tough guy I am, I think that’s something that will help. I want to keep developing and learning.”
The team would love for Kilpatrick to be a dependable sixth man this season, someone who can come off the bench and immediately change the tempo of the game. But they also need him to play defense and contribute when his shot isn’t landing. Kilpatrick is shooting just 37.5 percent after five preseason games.
“Sean’s going to get his shots,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s a fine line. He’s a scorer. We love him being aggressive. But it’s also got to be within what we’re doing. We prefer open shots, obviously, and we’re coaching him there. But you can stray too far and then you take away what he does really well. My challenge to him, with his size and athletic ability, is: ‘We need you to defend better. We need you to rebound better.’ It’s important. That’s going to earn him more minutes.”
Lin to play against Knicks. The Nets conclude their preseason Thursday when they play the Knicks at Barclays Center. When the two teams met Oct. 9 at Madison Square Garden, Atkinson held out a few regulars, including point guard Jeremy Lin. There had been some perceived animosity between Lin and Knicks star Carmelo Anthony before that game. Lin and Anthony had played together for the Knicks under coach Mike D’Antoni in 2011-12. Over the summer, D’Antoni said in an interview that Anthony had been jealous of Lin during “Linsanity.” Atkinson did not specifically say who he was going to play Thursday, but considering it is the team’s final game before the start of the season, it’s a safe bet that Anthony and Lin will be on the floor at the same time. Lin was not available after practice.