NEWARK, N.J. -- It was sloppy. It was ugly. And it was expected.
“We’ve only had two scrimmages in training camp, so things are gonna be rusty,” point guard Deron Williams said after committing six of the Nets’ 25 turnovers in their 92-83 preseason loss to the Knicks on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
“We’re not gonna be in the right spot at times. We’re gonna make mistakes. That’s just part of learning and being a new team.”
Coach Avery Johnson felt his team’s offensive woes were a byproduct of bad spacing and about 4-to-6 sets in which there was miscommunication between players.
“It’s like a quarterback-wide receiver relationship,” Johnson said. “A quarterback can throw a ball to a spot, but if the wide receiver doesn’t run the right pattern, the ball’s either going to get intercepted or be an incomplete pass.”
Williams was the culprit on some of those miscues, but he downplayed them. After all, these games don’t count, do they? Plus, the Nets are putting in essentially an entirely new offensive system.
“I played pretty bad,” joked Williams, who finished with nine points and six assists on 4-for-12 shooting -- including 1-for-5 from 3-point range.
“I didn’t shoot well. I had six turnovers. But it’s the preseason though. It doesn’t really bother me, man. Like I said, I’m just trying to run the offense and find some consistency out there, that’s about it.”
As Williams said, the Nets are in the same position as every other team trying to build chemistry on the fly.
“Guys are gonna have to lock in faster and come together a lot quicker. As long as we do that i think we’ll be fine,” Williams said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but coach prepares us well and does a lot of teaching. We’ll sit down and go over everything on film.”
It may not have been the start they wanted, but at least the Nets have something to build on going forward.