Josh Newman, SNYNets.comEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nets rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor has not practiced this week as he nurses a strained right quadriceps muscle. At this point, the former St. Anthony High School and University of Kansas star is laughing at his own misfortune and frustration.
"It's been a terrible week," Taylor joked with an ear-to-ear smile after Friday morning's PNY Center practice. "It's been frustrating. I'm a competitor, I want to be out there," he said. "I see my team bonding and having fun, working out, building team chemistry and it's just frustrating because I want to be a part of everything."
The most frustrating part for Taylor is that although the injury is not very serious, it is serious enough for the team to have ruled him ineligible for contract. He's only been able to shoot—alone and off to the side—and practice free throws.
"He's not ready yet," Johnson said. "We're gonna keep treating him on a day in, day out basis... Non-contact, some shooting, a lot of bike, walking on the treadmill. We hope to get him back for contact some time early next week."
Taylor, a proven winner and competitor throughout stellar high school and college careers, is staying positive. On Friday morning, he mentioned learning from Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, C.J. Watson and MarShon Brooks as a silver-lining and noted that he has had a good opportunity to learn the Nets' offensive sets.
Long story short, Taylor believes that whenever he is cleared for contact, he'll be able to hit the ground running.
"I've been able to pick things up, I pretty much know the plays, a lot of which is a refresher from summer league," Taylor said. "I know a little bit of what we need to do and I've been coming in early to get work in, so when I come back, I hope coach throws me right in the fire and sees what I can do.
Hopefully, that comes sooner than later."
Intersquad Scrimmage On Deck
Avery Johnson shed some light on what exactly would be happening on Friday evening when the team splits into two separate units and goes 5-on-5 in what he hopes will be a lively scrimmage.
Two of his assistants, Popeye Jones and Mario Elie, will respectively coach the white and black teams. A draft was held to decide the teams and after Avery Johnson intentionally placed Williams and Joe Johnson on the white team, Elie received the next two picks, which he used to select Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez.
In addition to Williams and Johnson, Jones' white team will consist of Josh Childress, Mirza Teletovic, Andray Blatche, Keith Bogans, Stephen Dennis and James Mays.
Meanwhile, the Elie-coached black team will feature Watson, Brooks, Kris Humphries, Tornike Shengelia, Carlton Scott, Reggie Evans and Jerry Stackhouse. They will team up with Wallace and Lopez.
Avery Johnson's intention is to play what he termed a 'real' first quarter, a 'real' second quarter and a 'real' fourth quarter, all with full NBA rules. Johnson said he would be happy with his regular "heavy-minute" guys logging about 28 minutes.
"In a perfect world, I'd like to get in three really hard, but normal NBA quarters, that's the goal for tonight," Avery Johnson said. "I don't know if we can get through a normal NBA game with the amount of guys we have, but we'll see where we are."
Childress returned to practice on Friday after sitting out a portion of Thursday's practice with a sore left achilles. Childress is entering his seventh-year and was invited to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal after he was amnestied by the Phoenix Suns over the summer.
Childress' return gives the Nets 17 healthy bodies (Taylor would make 18) for Friday's scrimmage. The Nets' preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers in Atlantic City is one week from Saturday.
Avery Johnson notified the media that Saturday would be 'Nets Family Day' at the PNY Center. The players are free to bring their children, siblings, and significant others.
With Saturday being the morning after an all-out scrimmage, practice will be lighter with most of the time spent on conditioning, stretching and weight-lifting.
Johnson held similar events during his time as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, and participated in them as a player.
"This was a big Popovich thing," Johnson said, referring to his head coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich. "A lot of times, now, because we've been in hotels, guys haven't really seen their families, and I think it'll be a good time to show the families how important they are to us. We want them to know that they're a part of what we're doing."
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.