by Steve Popper
The Record (Not Online)
Cliff Robinson walked into the locker room no crutches convinced that the absence of any aid was a sign of a speedy recovery.
But Mikki Moore eased the Nets' pain with a high-energy eight rebounds in 16 minutes.
"I was enthused," Moore said. "I was not surprised, but I was happy with my effort."
Moore said he felt a responsibility to step up with Robinson out, adding, "I think my teammates are expecting me to and I can't let my teammates down."
"Sometimes it's about getting established. You have to get in the right situation where it clicks for you," Richard Jefferson said of Moore.
"He hasn't yet. He's helping us now. You look at the situation now, Josh Boone was out, Cliffy gets hurt, and now Mikki is one of our main bigs."
Eddie House and Boone responded well to their first full-contact practice and were activated. Mile Ilic was deactivated.
"There wasn't a whole lot of rebellion," coach Lawrence Frank said. "He could have [cursed me out], but fortunately for both of us I wouldn't have understood it."
House was brought in for his shooting touch and energy. All was fine with the energy; the shooting, not so much. House was 1-for-8 in 14 minutes.
"I felt great tonight, just getting in the flow," he said. "The first half I felt real good actually both halves. I felt real good the whole game. It's just a matter of game rhythm shots."
Asked if he needed a veteran off the bench, Frank said, "You just want guys who can play. Whether they're 18 or 38, just play. You don't discriminate."
Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and a handful of other players will host 75 youngsters from the Paterson Community Learning Centers Program for a holiday party and basketball clinic Monday.