Nets showcase new look offense in preseason opener

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Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons follows the ball during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

Nets head coach Steve Nash had teased that he had revamped the offensive scheme prior to the tip-off of Monday’s preseason opener, and it showed during the course of the game.

Compared to what the Nets had drawn up last season, Brooklyn highlighted an offense with a lot more motion to it. In fairness to Nash and the Nets, injuries and other factors during the course of the year prevented them from implementing a more complex offensive system.

Now the Nets have been able to push past the clutter of last season and with plenty of healthy players and a full week to work on their new offense, Monday served as an appetizer for what it will look like once the games start to mean something.

“Well, we spent time this summer planning and preparing. This week got time to start implementing and starting to teach details,” Nash said. “It’s always different when you go play someone else you get out there and you expect preseason games from teams pretty new for it to be ugly times, which it was. And then other times you could see glimpses of where we could go. “Like I said this is just a necessary part of it to go through that kind of slog early to figure out how the pieces fit and that’s something that will probably take the whole year.

“But we gotta get through these preseason games so that we could have some sort of understanding on the 19th.”

The Nets open the season on the 19th when the New Orleans Pelicans, who at one time had been rumored to be a suitor for Kevin Durant prior to rescinding his trade request, come to Barclays Center for the season opener. Brooklyn will have three more preseason games to iron out the details along with another two weeks of practice time.

The Nets had off on Tuesday after spending time on the court for a week straight since camp opened last Tuesday. 

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While there is still time for them to perfect things, Kyrie Irving said that he could already see how successful they can be with the new scheme. The addition of Ben Simmons, who is being utilized in a hybrid point guard-center role, gives them an added layer as well. 

“In comparison to last year — it’s probably going to be the last time I say in comparison to last year because it’s a new year — but there was just a lot of random isolation and having Ben be able to play the 1, the 4 and the 5 adds some dimensions to our offense.” Irving said. “And I think that’s what makes us dangerous is that ability for us to be flexible, adaptable, and to be selfless. So we know what he have to do, we’re aware of our talent offensively, but we want to make the game a lot easier for each other this year instead of utilizing all that energy just to get a bucket.”

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