The Brooklyn Nets are 0-3 on the road so far, but they’ll have plenty of chances to pick up their first road win as they kick off a three-game West Coast trip with a game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
The Nets struggles lately have not just been limited to the road though as they have lost three out of their last four including another close game at home against the Indiana Pacers. It was the third game they lost by five points or less this season, a trend that has persisted early on as they fail to do the little things, like closing out possessions, and have settled for jump shots rather than attacking the paint.
The struggles of Kevin Garnett have also been extremely noticeable. Perhaps it’s because at 37-years-old, he’s the oldest player on the team. So far, he hasn’t taken advantage of his size and ability to get into the paint and instead has settled for too many outside jumpers. More often, he’s not making those outside jumpers too. Defensively, and it’s hard to believe this because it’s KG, he has really hurt the Nets this year. Opponents average 112.1 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court and 101.2 when he’s off.
“He’s fine,’’ Jason Kidd said of KG to Brian Lewis of the NY Post. “That’s basketball. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. It’s where you have to keep working, and that’s what he’s all about. His blueprint is to keep working and it’ll turn.
“[It’s] just the ball not going in. He’s taking those shots. He wouldn’t have been the player or have had the career he’s had if he hadn’t missed shots. If he was 25, he’s missed shots before. There is no difference in what he is doing now than when he was 25 years old.’’
The thing with KG, and with the Nets as a group, is that it is still early. Six games is not enough time to accurately judge a team. On top of it is going to take some time for everyone to adjust to each other. The eight old players have to get used to the seven new ones. KG has to get used to playing alongside Brook Lopez and the others. These are troubling early trends, and ones to keep an eye on, but nothing to panic about just yet.
One thing the Nets are hoping to help change their luck is this West Coast trip. Like I said above, they are 0-3 on the road, but it’ll be good for them to get away from the huge crowd of media that shows up to their home games. It’ll be good for them to spend some time traveling together, time to focus on basketball today. At least that’s the hope.
“It’s frustrating definitely when you get the loses, but sometimes a road trip can get a team together,” Paul Pierce said after Saturday night’s loss. “We’re playing three teams that are tough at home — Sacramento, Phoenix, Clippers, it’ll be a big test for us. This is the type of road trip that can turn things around for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
KIRILENKO OUT: Andrei Kirilenko is staying back East after he experienced more back spasms last week. Jason Kidd told repoters that he’s getting treatment and it doesn’t sound as if they expect him out too long. “I think he’ll be fine. He has to rehab and work and hopefully he’ll be back soon,” Kidd said.
D-WILL FEELING BETTER: One good thing that came out of Saturday night’s loss was that Deron Williams was looking better than he had so far this season. When speaking with reporters on Tuesday, he sounded a lot better. “I want to get back to playing basketball,” Williams told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com. “I haven’t been able to do it and now I’m just getting to where I feel like I can attack. “And I’m starting to feel like my old self again.”
JOE-JUSTMENT: The Nets have used Joe Johnson differently then they have last year, he’s gotten less shots and, aside from Saturday night, they have used him in isolation or the post less often. Johnson seems to have no problem adjusting to do whatever the team needs though. ”It’s okay,” Johnson told Youngmisuk. “I can multitask. Whatever these guys need, man, I got to tell them I’m here and I’m willing to do whatever.”
BUS PASS: The Nets announced that they have assigned Tornike Shengelia to the D-League. This is the third time this season that they have sent him to play with the Armor. He hasn’t played in any minutes with the Nets even when he’s been with the team though. “Good luck to the Brooklyn Nets on the West Coast games,” Shengelia tweeted. Tyshawn Taylor is still with the team.
DESPERATE FOR A WIN: The Nets are looking for their first road win, but D-Will said they aren’t concerned with getting road wins as much as just getting any wins. “It’s a good time to get some wins. Home, road, we definitely need a road win. No matter what we’re doing right now, we need some wins. We’re 2-4 right now, we need some wins, desperately.”