Brian Lewis of the Post talked to a number of Nets players this week, both at the HSS Training Center and at Saturday’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC event, part of the Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play in Prospect Park. Last week, Bojan Bogdanovic told Lewis he thought the Nets would make the playoffs this season "if we play like we practice."
Saturday, Joe Harris who joined Jeremy Lin at the Nickelodeon event, said something similar, that despite all the punditry putting them at the bottom of the division, conference and league, they like who they are, what they're doing and it's been evident all summer..
"Most NBA organizations, you [don’t] have the majority of your guys in training at the beginning of August," Harris said. "We had 11 guys in working out at the start of August. You don’t see that."
The only three that were missing back then were Lin, who had a series of previous commitments on the west coast, and the two Olympians, Bogdanovic and Luis Scola. They’re all in Brooklyn now.
Scola told Lewis that one reason so many players are on hand is the head coach.
"He was always there for working on basketball, ready to do it. That’s very important,’’ Scola said. "He did it back then, and he’s doing it even more now.’’
Last week, Brook Lopez, talking to Geico Sports Nite, said similar things about work winning out.
"We have the correct mindset. We know it's team first. We know we have to rely on each other. And we're all here putting in effort regardless of what it takes," he said, adding that having the whole roster in early is a big deal. "Continuity is an important thing. We just want to control as many variables as we can."
Lin, meanwhile, spoke of how his game has been perceived, how he hasn’t gotten credit for what he can do, what he’s improved.
"A lot of the times I’m fighting a lot of stigmas that people came up with and for fair reasons when I played four or five years ago. My game has progressed a lot,’’ Lin said when asked about criticism of his defense. "What happened in Charlotte people didn’t really see because we were a small-market team. I feel like I’ve been working, and if people see it, they do, and if not, I still know where I want to get better at, where I’ve improved."
Sounds like that could apply to a lot of his teammates.