NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets will take on Israeli Premier League basketball club Maccabi Tel Aviv in their preseason opener Tuesday night at Barclays Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
A new opponent: Because of their upcoming trip to China, the Nets started training camp Sept. 27. Nine practices later, they finally get to face someone else -- and the players are certainly looking forward to it. For new coach Lionel Hollins, this is his first chance to see his players in action. While Hollins just wants to come out of the preseason with a healthy roster, this will be the first time to see the Nets running his system.
Brook and Deron: Brook Lopez (ankle/foot) and Deron Williams (ankles) are coming off surgery, which means this will be their first game action since. Brooklyn’s success pretty much rides on the sustained health of its center-point guard duo. Hollins wants Lopez to be tougher and more aggressive. The coach thinks Williams can be an All-Star.
Battle of the three: Rookie sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic has been practicing with the starters, which means he has a shot to win the final starting job. Hollins told SiriusXM NBA Radio that he doesn’t consider Bogdanovic, 25, a rookie. “I don’t know if he’s gonna start, but he’s gonna get an opportunity to play a lot,” Hollins said. Versatile veteran Andrei Kirilenko could end up figuring in the mix. Alan Anderson (sore abdominal) will not play. Anderson is a former Maccabi player.
Maccabi file: You probably remember -- well, you probably don’t want to remember -- Sofoklis Schortsanitis. The 6-10, 345-pound center had a big game for Greece against Team USA back in the 2006 FIBA World Championships. Guard Jeremy Pargo has NBA experience with Memphis, Cleveland and Philadelphia.