EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jarrett Jack's sore left hamstring meant that Shane Larkin got in a lot of work at point guard with the Nets' first team at Friday's light practice, and the 23-year-old Larkin was more than happy.
"I got a lot of reps with the first team and it was good,'' Larkin said. "I played with them a couple games [in the preseason] when Jack was out -- just to get some extra reps, just in case Jack ever were to go down with anything.''
Assuming Jack's hamstring doesn't end up being any kind of issue, Larkin looks set to be a backup when the season starts on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. But the former Knick and son of former major league shortstop Barry Larkin said he is more worried about the Nets' winning than he is about the depth chart.
"I just want to go out there and win games,'' Larkin said. "Last year [with the Knicks] I had a bad year. Our team didn't win many games, so whatever coach [Lionel Hollins] feels is necessary for us to win, whether Jack with in the game, me in the game, Donald [Sloan] in the game -- whoever he wants in the game, just to go in there and play and win.''
Larkin was traded to the Knicks before last season as part of the deal that sent Tyson Chandler back to Dallas. Larkin played in 76 games (starting 22) for the Knicks and averaged 6.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds. He signed a two-year, $3 million deal with the Nets in the offseason, he said, because he thought Brooklyn's more conventional pick-and-roll offense was a better fit for him than the Knicks' triangle offense.
"As a point guard in the triangle offense, it takes away a lot of your creating for people off the dribble, and using screen-and-roll,'' he said. "In the triangle, the offense itself sets up a lot of the shots, so many times the point guard will come down, pass it to the wing, go to the corner, and then the wing guy is kinda, sorta the point guard, because he initiates the offense once you pass it to the wing.''
In the preseason, Larkin played five games and averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds. Hollins said he's been pleased with what he's seen of Larkin so far.
"Shane is about energy; he's about quickness and speed and some savvy,'' Hollins said. "He's played fine.''