Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo was going through pregame preparation and participating in the annual team photo at center court when news emerged about the multiple explosions at the Boston Marathon.
“Somebody said what had happened and I wasn’t aware even of it at all to be honest until I saw a little glimpse of it,” Carlesimo said.
Carlesimo said he found out when a team security official sent him a memo telling him to be vigilant in the same way the MTA urges transit riders.
“The safety and security of our guests and employees at Barclays Center are of paramount importance,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement. “Barclays Center staff works very closely with the NYPD and other New York City agencies to ensure our stringent safety and security policies are strictly enforced.”
Though Carlesimo has been coaching in NBA arenas for most of the past two decades, the most amount of concern was when he an assistant on the first Dream Team with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Patrick Ewing.
“The most concerned I ever was in '92, was in Barcelona, because of the incredible amount of security that was attached to the Dream Team,” Carlesimo said. “Even if you felt really secure, you just look around and say ‘man this is incredible.’”
Wallace returns, other starters sit
Gerald Wallace spent part of his pregame warm-ups taking 3-pointers from varying areas of the court and before his routine ended, he hoisted a few from just out-of-bounds near the Nets bench.
Wearing a dark brace to protect the lower left leg that had a contusion in the previous two games, Wallace returned after missing his ninth and 10th game of the season this weekend.
Wallace last played on Wednesday in Boston when he scored two points and had two rebounds in 15 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. Since scoring 12 points March 27 in Portland, Wallace has shot 6-for-19 and grabbed just 12 rebounds in his last six games.
“We need to get him back in the flow,” Carlesimo said. “We saw dramatic evidence of how much we missed him on Sunday. We need to find out where he’s at. He’s still got a couple of days before the weekend but hopefully he can play relatively pain-free tonight and get some minutes out of him Wednesday also.
While Wallace returned with the hopes of re-discovering his shooting strokes, Brook Lopez (mid-back contusion), Deron Williams (left knee contusion) Joe Johnson (sore left heel) and Reggie Evans (sore left shoulder) sat out. None of the injuries sounded serious and Johnson participated in pregame warm-ups.
The timing of their absences had more to do with the Nets locking up the fourth seed. They were still trying for the third spot, but a loss in Toronto eliminated that possibility.
However, Carlesimo indicated he planned on playing them Wednesday against Detroit since that will be the team’s only full contact game action until Game 1 of the playoffs over the weekend.
“That’s the plan,” he said. “If they’re healthy we want them to play. We’re not going to play them 40 minutes. We’ve been saying it all along, they can get hurt in practice too but they’ve got to be sharp. Wednesday should be more beneficial to us preparation-wise.
Preparing for unknown opponent
The Nets will play either the Bulls or Hawks, two teams they faced four times apiece. They went 3-5 in those games and have faced Chicago and Atlanta four times since the All-Star break.
A normal preparation period consists of viewing video tapes of the opponent at an estimated time of 100 hours. However, not knowing has made the work a bit more challenging with each time getting 50 hours of video preparation.
Currently, the Hawks have a one-game lead in the race to be Brooklyn’s first-round opponent.
“It’s a pain in the neck,” Carlesimo said. “It would have been so much easier knowing which was. We got to divide the work, what we’re doing. It just means more hours.
“It’s not like they don’t know us and we don’t know them. But you’d still like to go into greater depth and the preparation would be simpler if you knew who the team was.
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.