Nets pregame notes: Billy King is still optimistic

Nets general manager Billy King is still optimistic about his team's chances even after a 2-5 start. AP Photo.

Nets general manager Billy King is still optimistic about his team’s chances even after a 2-5 start. AP Photo.

The Brooklyn Nets have gotten off to a 2-5 start and they look more like a team that will battle for the No. 8 spot than challenge anybody for a championship. The tough start has some blaming Jason Kidd, many upset at Kevin Garnett, and more than a few in full blown panic mode. Nets general manager Billy King is not among the panicking.

“I think not having our guys together during the preseason has made us start a little bit (rough),” King told Sam Amick of the USA Today. “But I see signs that we’re doing the right things. Our defense is getting better. (Deron Williams) is getting back to being Deron. Once our guys get into game shape and have a better understanding of where each other likes to get the ball, we’ll be OK.”

King is following the party-line pretty well, that the Nets still need more time to develop chemistry. Like everyone else has said, they’ve lost a few close games where they had chances to win and it’s just been the little things that have cost the Nets. Overall, he sounds pretty optimistic though.

“It’s a long, long year,” King said. “I mean I look at Chicago right now. They’re not playing the way they want. Miami’s not playing that well, so I think everybody looks at it like, there’s 76 games to go, and I’d much rather peak in February and March then now.”

“It’s not about wins and losses,” he continued. “It’s about how we’re playing. I learned that from Larry Brown. You get caught up in the wins and losses, but you’ve got to start making sure that you’re playing a certain way. I saw some of that in the Indiana game.”

As for his thought on J-Kidd’s performance as head coach, he’s technically 1-4 as the Nets man in charge, King was once again optimistic.

“He’s been good,” King said of Kidd. “I think what I like about him is that he spends time talking to players individually, and explaining his thought process and (having) them focus on the little things and not the big things. I think that’s what good coaches do, and that’s an instinct he had as a player that he has as a coach.”

MY TAKE: I suppose it’s good to hear optimistic words from King at this point, but really, what the hell is he supposed to say? They’ve been bad, but it would take something extreme for him to throw his team, that he personally put together, under the bus. It’s just not going to happen. The Nets need to start playing with some urgency to their game to get me excited. In that last loss to the Kings they just looked sad, like they weren’t even trying.

ON TO THE NEXT: The Nets will try to turn things around tonight against the Phoenix Suns. The most important thing is not how well they match up against the Suns, but whether or not they can avoid beating themselves. That said, the Suns have gotten off to a nice 5-3 start. Their defense has led the way so it’ll be important to watch how the Nets handle them offensively. Markieff Morris is also off to a great start so containing him will be a priority.

NO PRACTICE: The Nets took off from practice on Thursday. Hopefully it gave everyone a chance to get away from basketball and recharge because they have had no energy at all in some of these games.

D-WILL’s ANKLE: Deron Williams looked healthy for two consecutive games as he was moving around well against Sacramento on Wednesday. That was until he landed on the foot of one of the Suns players and was limping around. Hopefully it didn’t make things worse as D-Will has looked just bad at times this year and the Nets need him at 100 percent ASAP.

VEGAS ODDS: If you were wondering, Las Vegas has given up on the Nets rather quickly as they are underdogs against the Suns tonight.

ALL-STARS: All five of the Nets’ starters are on the All-Star ballot including KG, D-Will, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.