2011-12 Nets Practice Report
April 16-April 22, 2012
The Nets' Practice Report includes notes, quotes and photos from the week's practices at the PNY Center. Read on to stay current with all the Nets news you need, and be sure to get your View from the Couch for a more in-depth look at all aspects of Nets Basketball.
—Wednesday, April 18—
Wallace Game-Time Decision for Last NJ-NY Matchup
Tonight marks the final game between the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks before the former moves to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center this summer, and forward Gerald Wallace, who has missed four straight games with a strained hamstring, has been upgraded from questionable to a "game-time decision." Coach Avery Johnson said the eventual decision will be based on his shootaround workout and afternoon recovery.
"We're going to put him through another workout this morning an then we'll see how he feels," Johnson said. "We put him through a pretty intense workout yesterday; back slightly tightened up a little bit, but we'll see how he feels (later)."
Deron Williams (sore right calf) and Shelden Williams (hyperextended knee) will both miss the game tonight, but are possibilities for Saturday's game in Milwaukee. The entire roster will make that trip, with a team dinner scheduled for Friday night in Milwaukee. But they'll have to take on the Knicks before that, and Johnson has the team focused on its own priorities rather than relishing a role as "spoiler" of the Knicks' playoff push.
"I think, for us, we're looking more at trying to win the season series, trying to do something that we didn't do last year, winning a home game," Johnson said. "I think that's more of what we're thinking about."
—Tuesday, April 17—
Knicks Up Next, Injuries Increase
With the Knicks coming to town tomorrow night (Buy Tickets), the Nets will be shorthanded: point guard Deron Williams (sore right calf) will miss his second straight game and eighth of the year. Big man Shelden Williams hyperextended his right knee against the Heat on Monday, and will be questionable. Forward Gerald Wallace (also questionable) has been navigating recovery road since straining his hamstring nine days ago, and will work out today and again at tomorrow's shootaround before being re-evaluated.
"(Gerald) wants to give it a shot, and we'll see where he is," said Nets coach Avery Johnson, after the annual team photo. "If he comes out of this workout good today, with recovery; works out again tomorrow morning, recovers well; then we'll think about tomorrow night. But if there's any sort of setback, he won't play tomorrow."
Despite the expected roster limitations, the coach is looking forward to the matchup, which will feature some "different dynamics" now that Mike Woodson has taken over for Mike D'Antoni and both Jeremy Lin and Deron Williams will miss the game. It also provides an opportunity for Johnson's team to achieve what he terms "small victories," short-term goals he can use as motivational chips in these final four games.
"Right now we're up 2-1 against Philadelphia – that was a team that swept us last year; that's a small victory, OK?" Johnson explained. "We didn't beat the Knicks last year, (this year) we beat them in the Garden. So then if you can take it to the next level and win the series, great. We didn't win last night, but guys, the Miami Heat, they've looked like an NBA team against us and we've looked like a high school team. Last night was the first time since we've been here (two years) where we've actually looked like an NBA team. We didn't win the game, but that's a small victory for us. That's what I'm trying to push. Winning spirit."
After last night's late-game collapse against the Heat, Avery Johnson began reviewing the game tape and found enough teaching points in the final five minutes that he expects Wednesday's morning video session to run long.
"You can't get this type of experience," Johnson said. "Gerald Green can't get it unless he's in a game against the Miami Heat and the game's tight and the fans are going crazy and the pressure's mounting; MarShon Brooks, you just can't get it in the Summer League even. So this is great material for us to use not only this year, but to log for summer teaching and next year in training camp.
"We had some things happen last night that we can really learn from, especially our young guys. And just think: Gerald Green was playing with the D-Fenders early in the year and now we want him to close out a game againt the Heat, guarding LeBron. That's how it is; that's how life can change."