Jawai eyes first bucket

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Nathan Jawai is well aware the next big moment in his young NBA career is just around the corner.

With action in two games under his belt, the nervousness becomes less and less, but there still is that matter of scoring his first basket.

"I'm not being too hard on myself," Jawai said yesterday. "I know the opportunity will come for me to score. I just want to go out there and prove to the coach that I can rebound, and set good screens and do all the dirty stuff. That's what I'm worried about right now."

Part of the problem is the moves that worked so well back home in Cairns, Australia, are considered a travelling violation here.

"I still have to adjust my moves to the NBA game," he said. "That's why I'm up here every day working with coach Eric (Hughes) and trying to get better."

Jawai's running hook to the middle right now has an extra step in it so he's working on shortening that up. He also has to get used to defending the post without using his forearm, which was allowed back home but is an automatic foul in the NBA.

Nets a big deal

It was like pulling teeth to get former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell to give any one game more importance than another within the regular season. Jay Triano has a different view.

The game in New Jersey tonight takes on added importance for a number of reasons.

"Especially the fact that we are down 2-1 in the (season) series," Triano said. "When you look at it there's another half game involved in this because of the tie-breaker situation should we end up tied, so this one is very significant."

And Triano has no problem admitting he's scoreboard watching either. "It was the first thing we addressed this morning," he said.


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