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KIKI FOCUSES ON PSYCHE AS NETS GUN FOR WIN NO. 1 News New Jersey Nets
 

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News » KIKI FOCUSES ON PSYCHE AS NETS GUN FOR WIN NO. 1


KIKI FOCUSES ON PSYCHE AS NETS GUN FOR WIN NO. 1


KIKI FOCUSES ON PSYCHE AS NETS GUN FOR WIN NO. 1 There were no Whoopee Cushions or cans of Silly String to be seen anywhere, but the first day of the Kiki Vandeweghe Nets' coaching regime yesterday was as much about having fun as it was hunkering down to break the most atrocious start in NBA history.

There were changes in practice structure and overall philosophy with an emphasis on a faster game at both ends, starting tonight with Vandeweghe's debut game against the Bobcats of Larry Brown, who coached Vandeweghe at UCLA. But there was a lot of weight placed on the Nets' mental health.

"The team hasn't accomplished what they wanted to accomplish. Part of today was putting some fun back into Basketball," Vandeweghe said. "At the end of the day, this game's got to be fun.

"You hope it doesn't affect them too much and then again, you hope it does," Vandeweghe said of the historic 0-18 losing streak. "You hope they say, 'Hey, listen, I don't want this to happen any more. Whatever it takes.' "

Figure the season hasn't quite been a barrel of yuks for the Nets so far. They were humiliated Wednesday by Dallas while establishing the futility start record. So yeah, change of any form would be nice.

"How we'll conduct ourselves and how we're expected to play are different. You feel like you're playing a different way, so it's a breath of fresh air," Devin Harris said. "We set the record, but we don't want to add to it."

Vandeweghe, who had veteran assistant Del Harris at his practice side, will focus on developing the Nets' young core while trying to win as much as possible. Remember, they want to feature a core of young talent to attract free agents. It'll be hard to sign anyone if you're recruiting pitch is, "Come join this gang of losers!" So it's developing. And winning.

"It's a different approach to winning. We set a plan in motion for the team to rebuild. With young talent. Cap space. Draft choices," Vandeweghe said. "But it starts with building up your young players and getting them to be better Basketball players rather than creating an every game as a do-or-die situation.

"It's about getting your foundation good and you win that way. It's still about winning at the end of the day, but the approach is different."

For tonight, one of the young guys, Courtney Lee, goes back in the starting lineup, ready or not. Lee (groin) missed seven games then played five. Then Yi Jianlian should be the next young starter back (but not tonight). Vandeweghe is preaching fresh start and it will be because he'll have the available bodies that Lawrence Frank had to try to squeeze by without. Then comes implementing.

"The pace will be a little bit faster," said Keyon Dooling, who's back tonight for his season debut after hip surgery rehab. "Defensively, we'll have to engage the ball a little bit. Those are the two obvious differences right now. . . . Everything is new, so we have to prove ourselves all over again."


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 5, 2009

 

 
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