Brooklyn Nets talk defense at Staples Center

Ronald Martinez

There are 16 banners above the Staples Center floor, each plainly visible to the 15 Nets who did a little shootaround Tuesday afternoon. In interviews, Avery Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez talked stone-faced about how it will give the Nets an opportunity to compare their progress to a team of Hall of Famers.

The Nets took to the Staples Center floor Tuesday afternoon, shooting around under the 16 NBA championship banners and seven retired numbers. In interviews, Avery Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez talked about how the game would be a "gauge" (Johnson), a "benchmark" (Lopez) and "test" (Williams).

They also talked, a lot, about their defense. Johnson was optimistic. "We have to limit our mistakes. Fortunately, our guys are starting to understand defensively what we're trying to do in our system. So we don't have to come out an re-invent ourselves."

"We are focused on executing our game plan, particularly our defensive game plan," said Lopez. "We have to control the pick and roll. Make them adjust to us."

A stone-faced Deron Williams said, "we have a lot of game plans tonight." Williams also talked about Joe Johnson's shooting woes. "He's missing some open shots. He's also turned some down. He'll be fine. He's a scorer. Scorers go through slumps. I'm not shooting the ball well either so its something we can all do a better on."

is there a personal aspect to the game, he was asked, a reference to Dwight Howard's comment that he doesn't care if D-Will feels towards him. "Not really. Media makes a lot more about it than we do. It's another game for us. We're excited about the test, excited about extending our win streak."

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