If the $102 million payroll and the whole "five All-Stars in the starting lineup" thing weren't enough to convince you that the new-look Nets are a powerhouse, Deron Williams erased any doubt during Brooklyn's preseason opener against Washington.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Nets' 111-106 overtime victory, Williams did his best impression of a jubilant college football mascot, dropping to the court to execute a series of push-ups to celebrate a Mirza Teletovic three-pointer. Thankfully he didn't fire off any cannons or trot around with any live animals.
Egged on by teammates Kevin Garnett and Reggie Evans, Williams cranked out three push-ups before returning to his seat on the bench. Teletovic's third three-pointer of the night gave the Nets a three-point lead with 1:35 to play, but Brooklyn needed overtime to secure the victory thanks to a Glen Rice Jr. tip dunk in the final second of regulation.
Williams did not play in the game because of an ankle injury but apparently his wrists, which gave him some trouble last season, are doing just fine. Thankfully, he learned his lesson from Kevin Love last season, and opted for standard rather than "knuckle" push-ups.
The goofy display was just one more sign that it's a new day in Brooklyn under first-year coach Jason Kidd. It's crazy to think that the Nets went 22-44 just two years ago, and the Avery Johnson Era and the short-lived P.J. Carlesimo Phase already seem like such distant memories. After one preseason game! Tyshawn Taylor led the Nets with 16 points, while Teletovic and Brook Lopez chipped in 15 apiece. Wizards center Nene led all scorers with 19 points in a losing effort. Brooklyn moved to 1-0 on the preseason; Washington dropped to 0-1.