He made six of 13 tries from 3-point range in the preseason, and then opened the season by burning Indiana power forwards Luis Scola and David West for two 3-pointers. He also made corner 3-pointers against Minnesota and New Orleans and even though he missed all three tries on Sunday, his threat of shooting had a big impact on Brooklyn’s defense.

``If I’m at the 3-point line it brings four players outside and it gives (Vucevic) more space on the pick-and-roll cuts and it gives (rookie guard Victor Oladipo) more room to drive,’’ said Nicholson, who has made four of 11 3-point tries and is shooting 53.3 percent overall from the floor. ``Being able to stretch the floor and hit that corner three, it gives our offense another advantage. For now, I’m surprising them, but I’ve got to continue to make those shots.’’

Nicholson shrugs off the jokes about him having ``an old man’s game,’’ and instead has trained his focus on simply trying to improve every facet of his game. He said knowing that he’s put in the work and the thousands of repetitions has plied him with a confidence that was lacking at times last season. That has allowed him to earn the trust of his teammates, who know that he will usually make the right play from the post. Knowing that his coach and teammates know the work he’s put in and believe in him, is a tremendous feeling, Nicholson said.

``That’s a great compliment,’’ he said of his teammates’ new-found belief in him. ``I feel like making the right play is something that I’m good at. I take pride in being able to find the open teammate the best that I can.’’

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