The Long Island Nets opened their first training camp practice Monday at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury, Long Island.
The first training camp session showcased 14 out of the 16 players on the training camp roster. Henry Ellenson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, the Nets two-ways, were on the Brooklyn Nets bench for Sunday’s loss to the Grizzlies and so didn’t suit up for the team’s first training camp practice.
Shaun Fein, who is entering his first season as the head coach of the Long Island Nets, thought his players checked off the first box he’s looking for: working hard. Nothing surprised Fein in the team’s first training camp practice.
“No real surprises to me,” Fein said. “I think it will take a few more practices and days to feel things out. But like I said, I think the guys competed very hard today and that is the first thing we are looking for.”
Fein stated that the practice started a little sloppy but once it got going, things started to click. The last segment of practice, the five-on-five sessions, he thought ended practice on a good note.
“It was a little sloppy to start practice but as we got going, it was really good,” Fein told NetsDaily. “I thought the last segment, played some five-on-five, half court, the guys were competing really hard and understanding the concepts that we taught earlier in the practice. We ended on a good note.”
Fein is not only the head coach of his players but a former teammate of one as well. Half a decade ago, in the French city of Antibes, Fein played with both Nets stash Isaia Cordinier and Luwawu-Cabarrot, then both teenagers just starting their careers. Fein is happy that Luwawu-Cabarrot got the opportunity with the Nets organization and believes both Long Island and Brooklyn will do a great job developing him.
“Having a connection with them from playing with them five and six years ago, it is always good to have another face,” Fein said of Luwawu-Cordinier and Cordinier who played for the Nets summer league team. “I’m sure it’s good for him to have a familiar face and we’re just here to help him get better and get him to where he wants to go.”
“I am happy for Timofe,” Fein added. “I think its a great opportunity for him to be in Brooklyn. We have a great track record of getting those two-way guys better and developing them. He is a former first-round pick and he has talent. So I think we can do some good things when he is in Long Island. Brooklyn will do a great job with him.”
Fein said he believes his former teammate and now player has real potential. Luwawu-Cabarrot, although only 24, has played 171 NBA games. Fein believes his overall athletic ability gives Luwawu-Cabarrot the ability to play multiple positions and be an asset in pick-and-rolls.
On the other hand, Fein thinks his former teammate needs to improve on the defensive end of the floor. Fein believes he has all the attributes but if he can continue to improve on the defensive end, he will get the results he wants.
“He is a skilled wing that can play multiple positions,” Fein noted. “He’s got good ball handling skills as well. Play him in the pick-and-roll and make some good reads out of that. I think the biggest thing for him is defensively. I think he has the size, strength, and the quickness to guard multiple positions. I think if he focuses on that, he could get the results he wants.”
And those the Nets want. It seems clear that the organization, which has focused on long term projects with its previous two-ways, now seems to switching strategies ... to developing players ready-made for stints in the NBA.