DURHAM, N.C. -- It's back to the Big Apple.
The Nets broke the early portion of training camp Saturday, proclaiming it a success. Five days of practice at Duke University are in the books, and they feel they got their work in before heading back home to prepare for Tuesday's preseason opener against the Wizards in Washington, D.C.
"I feel like we improved every day, both defenisvely and offensively," Paul Pierce said, "and we’ve just got to keep putting it everbody's head that this is a process and we’ve got to continue to get better. The second day, we weren't as good. But the last couple of days, I really think we took a step forward towards improving as a team."
Shaun Livingston, another newcomer, felt the same way as Pierce.
"It went well," he said. "I think we got better. I think we got better. I think guys are competing, guys are pushing each other and that’s what we are going to need, because we can’t wait to the season to turn it on. We’ve got to start now in the preseason. So every day really, just turning it on and being a championship team."
Even Deron Williams, who was limited all week as he makes his way back from an ankle injury suffered during a workout in Utah last month, liked the intensity.
"Guys worked hard, man," he said. "Guys listened, worked hard. It was a good training camp overall. I think we put in a lot of stuff, played a lot of attention to detail, especially defensively, and we had some good scrimmages."
Still, Williams joked that he'd like the Heat treatment next preseason. The Bahamas never sounded so good after spending five days in sleepy Durham with not much -- okay, anything -- for grown folks to do.
“Maybe we can be like Miami,” Williams said, “and go somewhere a little more exotic next time.”