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Nets can’t say enough good things about Mexico City vibe

MEXICO CITY — When the Nets talk about the atmosphere of playing in Mexico City, they’re talking about both the vibe of a packed 22,300-seat arena in a foreign country as well as the thin air of playing 7,300-plus feet above sea level.

“We’re excited,” Allen Crabbe said. “It’s a different atmosphere playing in the NBA Global Games. You look and you see all these media people, and it doesn’t feel like we’re in a regular game. It feels like we’re in the playoffs or something. There’s going to be excitement.”

With more than 250 media credentials handed out, Thursday’s game against the Thunder and Saturday’s against the Heat will be covered at the level of a late-round playoff series. And a sellout is expected at Arena Ciudad de Mexico, a huge building that left the Nets impressed.

“It’s pretty big. You’ve got the big Jumbotron,” Crabbe said.

“Oh, it’s amazing,” DeMarre Carroll said. “I was like, wow, I didn’t know it was this big. Coming here, I heard about the food — the food is always good — great culture here. But when I walked into the arena, my mouth dropped because this is a great atmosphere and I feel like this is going to be a great game [Thursday] night.

“I didn’t know where we were going first off, to be honest. But then when I walked in, I was like, wow, this is amazing. So my hat goes off to y’all.”

By atmosphere, Carroll meant the vibe in the stands. But the thin air in Mexico City — 7,382 feet above sea level — is a challenge they will have to deal with.

“There’s a lot more altitude than in Denver — and everybody knows how it is to play in Denver,” Crabbe said. “We’re even out here just shooting jump shots, and sometimes you get winded shooting jump shots. They’re just telling us to get our rest, hydrate and they’re giving us supplements to take, so we’re getting an edge and getting prepared for it.”

Hydration, steam rooms, specific diets and supplements are among the ways the Nets are trying to cope — as was scaling back Wednesday’s practice to feature less running and more shooting, film study and mental work.

“We went really light. We listened to our performance team with the intensity of our practices and what we’re doing. I can’t give you all the details, but we’re on top of it,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Playing at elevation is a different deal, so we’re trying to do everything in our power to address that.”

Spencer Dinwiddie played at altitude in college at Colorado, but even Boulder’s 5,430-feet elevation is nearly 2,000 feet lower than what they are facing this week.

“They definitely said the altitude is something to be aware of,” Dinwiddie said. “Obviously I played in Colorado for college, so I know a little bit of it. I have a taste of it, a little experience with it. It’s always tough when you’re adjusting. But it’s a level playing field for everybody. They have to adjust to it just like we do.”

The Nets’ adjustment will be a little different. They’re third in the NBA in pace and they aren’t going to change that against Oklahoma City.

“We’re a young group, we’ve got to get out and run, get these guys up and down the court,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to take advantage of our positives, and that’s getting up and down the court, tiring these guys out … playing Brooklyn Nets basketball.”

But can they do that at a higher elevation than a Cessna’s cruising altitude?

“Hey, we’re going to try to. That’s what we’ve been training [to do],” Carroll said. “We trained all summer for it, to be in the best shape, to be one of the best-in-shape teams. So hopefully it’ll affect them more than it affects us.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2017/12/07/nets-cant-say-enough-good-things-about-mexico-city-vibe/

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