Impressions of Open Practice

The big news out of yesterday's Open Practice was the injury to Bernard Robinson. Robinson may have hurt his MCL in the closed practice just before fans were let into the Rothman Center on Fairleigh Dickinson's Teaneck campus. The injury, reports Al Iannazzone of the Record could put Robinson on the bench for six to eight weeks. Word around training camp is that Robinson was doing well, taking advantage of the opportunity Lawrence Frank said he would get.

In general, though, the Nets looked good, with some of the team's additions looking like they can help right away. Here's my impressions, player by player:

Malik Allen - Started with Big Three and Collins. Looked like a steal. Played very well, solid pro. Hit open jumpers, moved well, stayed within game plan. Good start.

Darrell Armstrong - The guy is amazing. he's 39 years old and is in his second day of practice. Played solid D, hit some long j's, including at least one three. Great pickup.

Rod Benson - It pains me to say this, but toolittlerodbenson. Nice block, nice banker, but so thin and too dribble happy in the post. Collins took it away from him when he tried to put some moves on the veteran. He could be the first guy cut. Still only 22, he may make some NBA team.

Josh Boone - Looked rusty, but a bit stronger. Did very little, played very little.

Vince Carter - Went for three's. Didn't go to the rim much. Been there, done that. Playful mood all day. He understood it was practice.

Mateen Cleaves - I saw nothing to make me believe he isn't the fifth best point guard in camp.

Jason Collins - Shut down Magloire, kept him away from the basket. Looked thinner. Hit both free throws to crowd's delight. Right now, he has to be considered the starter.

Eddie Gill - Won the three point shooting contest. Ran the point with some confidence, but team didn't do much with him on the court. No room for him in this inn. Very professional throughout.

Robert Hite - Surprisingly very good. Ran the floor well, played a little point, and looked great elevating both at the rim and on his three point shots. Reminded me of Kevin Edwards with better elevation and speed.

Mile Ilic - He is still not over his ankle injury. Made a very nice pass from the post, picked up a few boards, but couldn't finish. He is what the roster says he is, 7'2". making him virtually alone in truth-in-rostering.

Richard Jefferson - Looked great...elevation plus ball and body control. No indication of any residual problems from last year's surgery. Hit some long shots, including a half court jumper in a contest after the scrimmage. Great with the fans as well.

Jumaine Jones - Hurt so didn't play much. When he did, he was aggressive. Need to see a lot more of him.

Jason Kidd - Played with typical abandon. Didn't look winded. Missed all but one of his outside shots. So what.

Nenad Krstic - Didn't play. Didn't participate in any shooting contests. Not sure he is going to be ready October 31.

Jamaal Magloire - Hurt his leg Friday in practice, so he gets a pass. BUT he could not score on Collins. Made a nice pass underneath but was a disappointment to the fans. 6'8 1/2" tops. 7'7" wing span, but he is not 6'11" unless Mile Ilic grew to 7'4".

Boki Nachbar - Didn't make a lot of his long shots, but had a typical Boki throwdown and looked highly confident. Handled the ball a lot more than he did last year. Seemed more agressive on defense. Look for him to play a lot of minutes at several positions.

Bernard Robinson - Got hurt in closed practice. Didn't see it, but others have reported he left the court in great pain. No real idea how bad til docs take a look Monday.

Marcus Williams - Just like Hoops and Bar-b-Q, there he was behind a table, wounded but on hand. He says he will be back before mid-November.

Sean Williams - Athletically, just wow. There is such a thing as easy athleticism. Carter has it. You know it when you see it: loping strides and then great explosiveness. I guess he's raw. Looked damn good to me. After scrimmage, he was shooting three's and making some. There is a lot of potential here...a lot. He's 6'10"? No, he is not.

Antoine Wright - Okay, he had a great summer. He didn't have a great scrimmiage. He couldn't finish...again. He was fine on defense, made a couple of steals, I recall. I keep waiting for the breakout.

Nets Front Office - Impressed with the Nets' marketing and customer service. Brett Yormark was directing people at the door. Petra Pope saw me looking lost (not uncommon) and asked if she could help. Dashawnda Brown, who runs customer service, was running up and down the LONG line to get in, looking for season ticket holders she recognized. And Bruce Ratner signed t-shirts and had his picture taken with fans.

All in all, a fun day for the thousand or so fans in attendance.

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