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It's Bigs vs. Bigs as Nets open Barclays Center

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams that had great off-seasons will open Barclays Center Saturday night as the Nets face the Pistons in downtown Brooklyn.  The game is the first of two that will not be televised this preseason. On the other hand, it's the first time fans who head to Barclays Center will be able to see the team's additions up close ... and some arena improvements.

The Pistons added two starters in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, brought back Chauncey Billups and filled out the bench with rookies Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva as well as Italian forward Luigi Datome. But the Big Two, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, are likely to be the key players if Detroit hopes to make the playoffs.

Fans were upset last season that then-coach Lawrence Frank didn't play rookie Drummond and third-year man Monroe all that much last season.  Now, they expect the Pistons new coach, Mo Cheeks, to pair them a lot more.  The question is how much chemistry can be expected from them and from the new starting lineup?  (A more timely question might be how many of the Pistons are likely to get big minutes, considering Detroit lost to Miami Friday night at home.)

Jennings is still sidelined with wisdom tooth pain, while Rodney Stuckey is coming off successful surgery on his thumb. Siva had been unavailable due to a calf strain, but reports are that he was able to participate in practice yesterday and will be activated for the game tonight.

For the Nets, the same trio of (slightly) injured players will be on the bench: Deron Williams, Jason Terry and Tornike Shengelia. D-Will is saying he's fine, but he is unlikely to play vs. the Pistons and the 76ers.Monday.  The same may be true for Terry who had knee surgery early in the off-season. He is a bit antsy.

"It felt great to be out there again (Friday in practice). It is one thing to be on the side, ‘Rah, rah, rah.’ Now you are there in the heat, in the fire, and it definitely felt good," Terry said. "It responded well. Now it is about the buildup. I went an hour and 30 (minutes) today, next practice hopefully it will be two hours. Once I get to that pace, a live scrimmage, then hopefully that will get me into game action."

Expect the Nets starters to get more than 12 minutes each, but not much more. The Nets played all their healthy players other than Marko Jaric vs. the Wizards. Jorge Gutierrez, the camp invite out of Cal, is also out with a sprained ankle.