After a day off Friday, the Nets were back on the court Saturday with a near full complement of players. Only Alan Anderson (sore abdominal muscle) sat. The news of the day was that Andrei Kirilenko was back on the court. a bit earlier than expected. He complained of tightness in his back on Sunday and thought he could be out seven to 10 days. Instead, it was five days without practice, six without contact.
"I’m feeling good so far, I’m trying to be very careful with it," he said. "I’ve improved so much, I’m already doing some contact and some 5-on-5 stuff. I’m trying to get as much substitution as possible, but it feels normal."
Kirilenko said he hopes to be ready for the Nets preseason opener vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday -- and the 14.5 hour flight the next morning to Shanghai, where the Nets will play the Kings next weekend.
Lionel Hollins said Kirilenko "went through the whole thing, never stepped out." Asked if everyone would be ready for Tuesday night, the coach joked, "I hope they're ready for practice tomorrow. We've got tomorrow and Monday before we play. So, we'll see when we come in here tomorrow what Tim (Walsh) tells me about who's where."
Although the end of the scrimmage saw Bojan Bogdanovic once again playing with the starters, Hollins said he has substituted a lot, indicating his starting lineup for Tuesday may not be set. Asked about Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson praised his high basketball IQ and said, "he can flat out shoot."
In general, Johnson said of the team's scrimmages, "intensity's great out here."
The highlight of the scrimmage the beat writers were permitted to see was a Kirilenko between-the-legs pass that led to a corner 3-pointer by Jarrett Jack. Was Jack expecting it? "Not at all!" said Jack, "But I was just trying to stay ready. I definitely wasn't ready for it."
Jack added, "It's at that point where you'd like to play someone in a different jersey."
About his new haircut, Kirilenko joked that he cut his hair because,"I need to feel young," noting that he's playing with the son of one old Russian teammate this season (Sergey Karasev) after playing with another last season (Toko Shengelia). "It's weird."
- AK-47 shows up at practice with new 'do - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Joe Johnson on aging: You can't 'eat honey buns and Doritos' anymore - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
Net's Joe Johnson leaner, more fit - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Joe Johnson takes back dig at former coach Nets coach Jason Kidd - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Sergey Karasev's Role Model, Andrei Kirilenko, Is Now His Teammate - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Joe Johnson, Jarrett Jack know it'll take a little time for Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Jarrett Jack in familiar backup role with Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post