It's only one game, the first game of preseason, but it was hard to miss the culture change on the bench Tuesday night. Everyone was involved, from the injured Deron Williams, who celebrated each Mirza Teletovic three with push-ups, to the third and fourth stringers who joined in every rousing greeting for a player returning.
A lot of it is Kevin Garnett, who could be seen rallying the troops, encouraging individual players with his physicality --a tap on the head, a hug, a pat on the back.
"Kevin’s Kevin. This is who he is," Jason Kidd said. "He knows no other way. It helps his teammates, the coaching staff. It just becomes contagious, and we hope that it spreads throughout the team." .
If chemistry is the issue, KG wants it settled as early as possible.
"It was funny. The atmosphere on the team is really good. The team chemistry is unbelievable. Everybody’s just enjoying each other," Mirza Teletovic said.
"It’s better," Deron Williams said of the Nets’ sideline demeanor Tuesday. "A lot better. It’s better than it was in the playoffs.
"We’re going to be together this year. We had a lot of stuff going on internally last year. People [ticked] off about not playing … normal stuff, but we’re not letting that happen this year.."
The Nets will be dealing with adversity at points this year --Lawrence Frank's absence due to a pressing family matter is the first-- but players believe that the team can push through if with the kind of attitude displaced Tuesday.
"There is more talking. The experienced guys we brought in just bring a different atmosphere. Bring a different way of talking," Teletovic said. "For me, especially because it’s my second year, having these guys around makes things very easy."
- Nets change for the better - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets making strides, shedding vanilla label - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Bench enthusiasm hyping up Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- With Lawrence Frank out, Jason Kidd is missing Nets asset - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News