Nets pregame notes: Plenty of old faces against the Utah Jazz

Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson, once teammates, will now face each other with Kidd as coach of the Nets. AP Photo.

Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson, once teammates, will now face each other with Kidd as coach of the Nets. AP Photo.

The Brooklyn Nets have struggled so far this season, despite an impressive win against the two-time champion Miami Heat, and they will look to get back on track against the Utah Jazz at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night.

They’ll be playing against a couple of old faces in Richard Jefferson and Derrick Favors, who was included in the trade for Deron Williams.

It’s not quite the same organization as Jefferson, who played for the Nets from 2001 until he was traded following the 2007-08 season, once played for though.  Of course, Jefferson appreciates that Jason Kidd is not only still around, but was honored during the preseason with his jersey retirement.

“There’s nobody on the Nets’ team I have any relationship with, except the coach,’’ Jefferson told The Deseret News. “There’ll be some familiar faces, but for the most part, other than Jason Kidd, there’s no connection to the organization, other than a few people in the front office or some fans that have continued to support the team.’’

“The one positive for me will be to see Jason Kidd’s number hanging in the rafters,’’ he said. “That’s something he earned and I feel like the group we were with really accomplished a lot and it will be nice to see that recognized. There were no banners in the history of New Jersey Nets basketball until we got there, so hopefully they’re hanging up.’’

Meanwhile, Favors still sounds a little bitter over being traded, but he says he’s happy in Utah. “It still does (bother me). I got traded halfway though my rookie year, but I’m over having hard feelings about it. When I got here, it felt like a family thing. They all welcomed me with open arms and I was happy to be here.”

Of course, D-Will and Andrei Kirilenko both played for the Utah Jazz. D-Will averaged 17.4 points and 9.2 assists per 36 minutes with an effective field goal percentage of 51.0 from 2005-2010 with the Jazz and Kirilenko averaged 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per 36 minutes with an eFG% of 49.8 from 2001-2011 with the Jazz.

ANKLE PROBLEMS: Deron Williams is still dealing with a little bit of the ankle problem and admitted to Zach Braziller of the NY Post that he’s “still getting there.” He’s averaged just 25.3 minutes per game so far, down from 36.4 minutes last season, and it’s expected that he will still be limited on Tuesday. Jason Kidd would not commit either way regarding the minutes.

“I’m getting there, trying to get there,” he said, when asked if he needs to be more aggressive. “Hopefully close. It’s just a matter of getting my legs under me. I haven’t done anything in six months, I’ve been pretty much limited to just jogging. I’m trying to get there, get my confidence back in my legs and I’ll be ready.”

MORE ANKLE PROBLEMS: D-Will isn’t the only one dealing with bum ankles as both Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche sat out practice on Monday after they both sprained their ankles against the Magic on Sunday. Both are still listed as probable for today and as of now everyone is assuming that they will play.

KIRILENKO IS NOT BACK TO 100 PERCENT: Andrei Kirilenko, who missed most of the preseason with back spasms, is also expected to play limited minutes. He has averaged just 11.5 minutes per game coming off the bench.

I HATE LIARS: Mirza Teletovic finally met with reporters regarding his the tweet he sent out immediately after Sunday’s game in which he griped in Croatian, “I hate liars.” He, of course, denied that it had anything to do with his playing time, or lack thereof.

“Nothing to do with basketball at all or the Nets,” Teletovic told NetsDaily.com “I wrote it in my (Bosnian)language because it was meant for somebody in my language. It has nothing to do with the Nets.”

SMALL SAMPLE STATSJon Presser of SNY had an article up on Tuesday and examined some of the early stats. So far Reggie Evans leads the team with a plus/minus of +2 and Shaun Livingston is next at 0. As Presser notes, this is likely due to small sample sizes and will likely change as the season goes on.

ROOKIE HAZING: The Miami Dolphins story involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito has gotten so much press that Tim Bontemps of the NY Post asked Livingston about it. Livingston explained that rookie hazing is part of pro sports, but explained that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

“It just all depends,” Livingston told Bontemps. “I think it really depends on the rookie. I don’t necessarily condone hazing, [especially] to the point where it affects a player’s performance, because we all get paid to do a job.

“But, at the same time, I think it just depends on the environment. There’s always a line, but a rookie is going to get some hazing. That’s just part of professional sports.”

A BROOKLYN BOY: Brooklyn’s own Jamaal Tinsley was signed by the Jazz last month and he’s set to start tonight against the Nets. He hasn’t played a lot in three games, but he’s not off to a fast start as he has averaged just 3.7 points and 7.4 assists per 36 minutes with an eFG% of just 22.2.

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