Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Since training camp began on October 2, the Brooklyn Nets have had 12 practices, including five two-a-day sessions. And a lot of the work that they’ve put in has been done at an intense, up-and-down pace.
With the team’s second scrimmage slated for Thursday and its preseason opener coming up on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers in Atlantic City, coach Avery Johnson thought that Tuesday would be a good time to give the group its first day off since camp began.
“When we looked at the schedule in preseason, I was just thinking, ‘When can I just get them one day when they’re away from the gym,’” Johnson said after Monday’s practice at the PNY Center. “I hate taking Mondays off. When you’re a 9-5 guy, my dad worked 40 years without a vacation, it’s hard.”
The Nets have been working with a bit of an odd schedule this preseason, and one that no other NBA team is dealing with this month.
It was reported by multiple outlets in early August that the Nets and Knicks would open their respective preseasons against one another on October 9 at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum—one of the Nets’ former homes.
The NBA eventually scrapped that plan and now have the Nets slated to open their preseason on Saturday. Once Saturday arrives, the Nets will have gone through 10 days of practice before before finally competing against a different team.
Because the NBA changed the Nets’ schedule, they will be the last team in the NBA to begin preseason play. Instead of opening with the Knicks, the Nets will instead play their crosstown rivals in their preseason finale. The game is still scheduled to be played at Nassau Coliseum, but not until October 24.
One week later, the two teams will open their 2012-13 seasons on November 1 when they square off in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in a highly-anticipated, nationally-televised game on TNT.
For now, Avery Johnson is simply looking to make the best out of a difficult schedule he’s stuck with.
“Even though Monday was probably the better day, I just hate giving Mondays off,” Johnson said. “I don’t mind Sundays, but I don’t like Mondays, so that was the best day because then we have a plan for Wednesday. Then, we’re gonna have an all-out scrimmage, like a real NBA game, on Thursday. Then, we’ll taper it off a little bit Friday and get ready to play on Saturday.”
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.