Brook Lopez came up big in limited minutes, the bench shined, and most importantly, no one suffered an injury. Consider that the big victory Tuesday night in the nation's capital.
The Nets received an encouraging performance during their preseason opening 111-106 overtime win over the Washington Wizards.
Lopez went for 15 points (6-of-7 shooting) in just over 12 minutes and Andrei Kirilenko emerged off the bench for 11 points and outscored the Wizards by eight points during his 24 minutes on the floor.
Future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett gave Lopez the utmost praise.
"Just in awe (of Lopez) a little bit," Garnett said. "The skill level is impressive. I haven’t been around a skill level like that playing with [a center] I don’t think ever. So it’s an adjustment for me to make sure I’m keying in on that and making sure the two of us are on the same page. Impressed is a word that jumps right out."
Aside from Lopez, the Nets starters enjoyed a relatively quiet night. Shaun Livingston played 19 minutes to lead the way in Deron Williams' absence. The star point guard continues to nurse an ankle injury.
In his first game as head coach, though, Jason Kidd liked what he saw from his team.
"It felt great," Kidd said after the game. "I just got up to stretch a couple of times."
His newfound position of head coach offers quite an adjustment for someone who played competitively in the league just last year. He can lean on several experienced staff members, though.
"I think one of the biggest things when I was a player was just accepting the moment and not being nervous," Kidd said. "Being calm is something I have always taken pride in and hopefully that will translate with my guys and when the moment is there, guys embrace it, accept it and run with it."
In addition to the quality training camp at Duke, the Nets will need the remainder of the preseason to gel.
So far so good.
“When you look at the other teams in this league, they’ve been together,” Kidd said. “That’s something we’re a little bit behind on.”
Williams (ankle) and Jason Terry sat out the game. The Nets return to the Barclays Center Saturday night when they take on the Detroit Pistons in their second preseason game.
Bubble Players to watch: