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October 22, 2018 | 12:41 pm EDT Update
Relationships and status meant nothing. It was equal opportunity ripping. Batum said: “He was like, ‘Nic you’ve got to do this, Kemba why did you do this, and Cody (Zeller) why did you do that? I need you to be there for Malik to be open, and Nic you’ve got to do that.’ It’s crazy. He’s got four championships, (played in) four NBA Finals and the Spurs were the best team for the last 20 years. And he the was starting point guard for that team. So you listen to him.”
“It’s true, it’s true,” Walker added, co-signing. “Of course, you want to hear what your coach is saying, but when you have a guy like Tony Parker, a guy who you know has been through it all, a guy who has four championships, Finals MVP. When he’s telling you something, you just understand. That’s Tony Parker, he’s a basketball legend. He’s a future Hall of Famer. Malik’s right. When you see a guy in the same jersey who’s been through it all and knows what it takes to win games in our league, yeah it’s a lot different.”
But, offensively, Young has shown that he can take over games, and this is without John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon on the floor. Collins’ ankle is expected to be re-evaluated Monday while Dedmon started full contact practice last week. The floor spacing will be much better for Young and the Hawks once those two are inserted in the starting lineup. “He just had command, and I keep saying the word command,” Pierce said. “He had a lot of great command of the offense and what we were doing out there. It was just hard to guard. We got up 47 3s. When you got a guy that’s shooting it well, facilitating it well — it opens up the floor for everyone. We were able to get the shots and looks that we wanted.”
For Young’s 30th point of the game, he caught and shot a 3-pointer from 37 feet out that was contested by Sexton. Young said prior to the start of the season that he felt slighted entering college seeing Sexton and Duke’s Trevon Duval as the expected one-and-done point guards in his class. Young felt like he deserved to be included in the mix. In their first matchup against each other, Sexton finished with four points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor. Young told reporters that they didn’t talk to each other during the game, but there was no added motivation for this matchup with Sexton. “You look forward to playing anybody in your class,” Young said.
With general manager Sean Marks personally flying to scout Kurucs, the Nets gladly plucked him in the second round. But even then, his huge buyout kept him from playing in summer league. Only now has Kurucs started to show outsiders what the Nets claim they’ve seen for awhile. “Extremely impressive,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “He brings a lot of energy, he’s a high-effort guy. Everybody is surprised — or pleasantly surprised — with the way he’s been shooting the ball, which is a huge added bonus. “But we knew coming in after the training camp that he had a chance to be effective for us, and he’s just showing you guys what we’ve been able to see for about a month.”