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For the Brooklyn Nets European players, a time of testing


Bojan Bogdanovic is someone the Nets want to rely on. He has to produce for the team to succeed.  Andrea Bargnani, on the other hand, was somewhat of a throwaway signing. So, if he plays well, it's a bonus.  Sergey Karasev, the team's long Russian, is all about recovering from a knee injury.

So far, so good. All three Europeans have played well, according to those who've watched the practices. Karasev may have sat out Thursday as a rest day but Chris Carrino said "Sergey's looked really good out there," a pleasant surprise.

For the Nets to really shine, however, the two Eurobasket veterans --Bogdanovic and Bargnani-- need to do really well and both do have something to prove.  For Bogdanovic, it's about consistency.

"I can improve all aspects of my game. I want to be more of an all-around player, play much better defense than was the case last season, and I want to be more consistent so I can avoid the ups and downs I had during the games and also during the season."

The boss, Mikhail Prokhorov, mentioned how important he is on Wednesday, "Of course, we are expecting a great season from Bojan (Bogdanovic)."  No pressure.

For Bargnani, it's about staying healthy, helping people remember the player who four years ago averaged 21 and 5.

"I just want to be a part of it. We have a great group of players and I want to be on the court. I want to be able to help them. Sitting out, obviously, was very frustrating and so I really don't want to do that again. I just want to be healthy and stay on the court. That's it."

As Carrino said Tuesday, "If the Nets can get some offensive production out of [Bargnani] ... that's something to look forward too."

For Karasev, if he gets minutes on Monday, they will be his first since he went down in March. Can't come soon enough.  On Media Day, he was all smiles. "I think you will see new Sergey," he said, explaining he feels he has "improved all type of my game. He said that he has been "shooting, shooting, shooting," with "500 to 600 makes" every day, getting in early, staying late.