Chris Chiozza, who signed a two-way contract on January 3 and had his Nets debut Saturday vs. the Bucks, has made an impact in his two appearances with Long Island and has been the reinforcement Nets coach Shaun Fein believes he needs.
The 5’11 two-way guard arrived to Long Island right before the Nets loss on January 5. Chiozza, who sat on the bench during the game, rolled his luggage to the locker room following the loss.
Fein did not get a chance to sit down and chat with his new guard at the time but spoke highly of him, highlighting his leadership and his feel for the game.
“His leadership,” Fein said of Chiozza’s greatest advantage. “He can control the game, control the tempo and has a great feel for the game. He is a big time competitor. He had a lot of success in college, a lot of success last year, and even this year in the G League. Someone on the defensive end who can get into people, make people uncomfortable, and run the team on the other side. I am looking forward to working with him.”
Indeed, the 24-year-old Florida product is known as a pass first point guard with boundless energy. His on-court speed won him the nickname “Flash.” Last year, he had stints both with the Wizards and Rockets.
Chiozza debuted with Long Island on January 8 in a matchup against the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons G League affiliate, finishing with nine points, eight assists, and four rebounds in 37 minutes of play.
The two-way guard did not shoot the ball well in his debut, going 3-of-13 overall and 1-of-8 from deep. Despite a rough shooting night, Chiozza played well on the defensive end and showed off his crafty passes. He believes his playmaking, leadership, and defense are the attributes he prides himself in and vowed to prove he is a good shooter.
“Playmaking and defense,” Chiozza said. “I have not shot the ball well since I got here but I am actually a good shooter. Leadership as well.”
Then, on Friday night, he exploded in Long Island’s win over the Maine Red Claws. He scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out four assists in what was arguably the young Nets biggest win of the season.
Fein, who is also a former point guard, acknowledged Chiozza is still learning the team’s system and getting to know his teammates but wanted his new point guard to look to score more and limit the number of extra passes.
In his Nets debut, Chiozza was 0-for-3 but snagged a rebound and handed out an assist.