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Thousands fill lower bowl at Barclays for Open Practice


The big news continued to be injuries --Deron Williams still out ... and frustrated; Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry getting ready for action. But for the fans, the Open Practice itself was bigger.  Several thousand, most wearing some sort of Nets gear and all with a lot of hope, filled the lower bowl Sunday for nearly two hours as the team was introduced, scrimmaged, took questions and generally made themselves available. The Nets said 7,500 fans showed up.

Fans came with signs and one even brought a replica of the Larry O'Brien trophy, fashioned from some flower pots and nondescript ball, all of it covered in gold foil.

On the court, the players seemed to enjoy the camaraderie of each other and so much black-and-white.  They were introduced one by one; worked out a little; played a spirited scrimmage, which the starters won; then took a few questions tweeted by fans. Both Terry and Shaun Livingston delegated Mason Plumlee to answer questions directed to them and Kevin Garnett stole the mic from D-Will.

The good times and news that Terry --and possibly Kirilenko and Tyshawn Taylor-- will be on the court Wednesday in Boston did little to alleviate the frustration of Williams who appeared healthy and even mobile during shootaround before the scrimmage.

"At times I feel like I'm not part of this team right now," he told beat writers but admitted he understands the rationale. ""Just being really precautious," he said. "I'm just listening to everybody's advice and making sure I'm 110% and there's not going to be any lingering effects- I go out here and tweak my ankle and I'm set back another month. I don't want to do that."

Terry was ecstatic about returning to the lineup after minor off-season surgery. " I've been out there in practice the last couple days. Everything's been going fine, no setbacks. So just being able to get out there in real live game action, it's gonna be good."