Nets Continue Search for Chemistry
For interviews with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, view our Practice Interviews Playlist.
The Brooklyn Nets used Thursday's travel day productively, touching down in Orlando and running through a practice at Amway Center. Forward Josh Childress, out since the end of the preseason with a sore left ankle, participated fully in practice and is "questionable" for Friday's game. Gerald Wallace, while out of the walking boot he's been in since spraining his left ankle against the Raptors, remains out. He's "day-to-day" and will be re-evaluated after the trip.
Coach Avery Johnson said that while the team is adjusting to Wallace's absence, once the veteran forward returns, he's expected to see as much time at power forward as small forward, and the team's nine-man rotation is pretty close to set. Based on the early game action, that likely leaves C.J. Watson, MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche getting regular minutes, with a situational use of Childress, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans or Mirza Teletovic. Bogans' defense will earn him late-game appearances, just as Teletovic's shooting could him. Evans' toughness adds a needed element in certain frontcourt matchups, and Childress' high basketball IQ can earn him run if the Nets go small.
Joe Johnson and Deron Williams both discussed the team's continued attempts to jell, and both are confident the group will get there, eventually. They feel good about how their games are meshing, that the shots will start to fall and the passes, find their targets. But it's important to get back out there, and each is looking forward to that opportunity Friday.