Trouble in paradise already?
According to Probasketballtalk.com, Avery Johnson is already disappointed in the teams attitude towards being tough and defending. Speaking to the New York Daily News, Johnson vented his frustrations:
“This team does not have the personality that I thought it would have at this point,” Johnson said. “That has been somewhat of a disappointment. Are they trying? Yes. Is anybody panicking? No. But we should have a little bit more physicality.”
“We don’t have a hit-first mentality, and if you don’t have a hit-first mentality, you’re going to get hit,” said Johnson, who was encouraged by Sunday’s practice. “So it’s not about a turnover or a guy forgetting a play. No, I’m talking about defensively. We haven’t done a good job — I don’t care if we’re fatigued, I don’t care if we didn’t practice. We haven’t done a good job protecting the paint. For us to go where we want to go, we have to be able to protect the paint a lot better than what we have.”
“It has to be a little bit more in our DNA as a team,” said Johnson, who praised guard Joe Johnson’s hard foul against Boston’s Paul Pierce last week that resulted in a flagrant. “If it’s not we’re fooling ourselves. I think it’s there. I think the bodies are there. I just think we have to play defense with a little bit more of a purpose and physicality. And that’s what I need to say.”
Brook Lopez, the Nets 7 footer gentle giant, also spoke on the teams lack of aggression.
“A lot of it is that attitude,” Lopez said. “Avery has said repeatedly he wants a blocked shot, a hard foul or a charge when it comes to people attacking the paint. So that has to become a mentality for myself and the team.”
Deron Williams also commented:
“(Lopez) is not going to be an enforcer or anything like that, but it’s just more about just not allowing easy baskets. If you see guys coming to the basket, you get a good foul on him. Nothing dirty. You just want to make sure he doesn’t get an easy basket.”