Things are pretty bad for the Brooklyn Nets right now. They spent a $190 million on this team that has been one of the worst in the entire NBA, people are starting to worry about their rookie head coach, they can’t stay healthy, and their veterans lack the leadership or toughness to face reporters after just their second home loss of the season.
Just listen to the confidence, or lack thereof, in this quote from Deron Williams.
“When we don’t score and the ball is not going we we kind of get down on ourselves and so our defense breaks down a little bit, our pace is slower,” said Williams told Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News. “We just have to stay positive. I guess cause we expect the ball go in the basket. When it doesn’t, you lose confidence.”
Can anybody say soft?
I don’t want to call it rock bottom just yet, as their only consistent starter in Brook Lopez is still injured (so this could get worse), but it’s pretty darned close to rock bottom. The silver lining is that things almost definitely have to get better.
On that note, D-Will is expected back tonight. He says he’s feeling good and he isn’t even expected to have a minutes restriction that Jason Kidd seems so fond of. He’s not joined by Lopez (ankle) or Andrei Kirilenko (back), but at least it’s a start and at least Tyshawn Taylor won’t be playing tonight.
Lopez and Kirilenko are both joining the Nets on this road trip, which is a good sign, but some of Kirilenko’s quotes are troubling.
“Usually I know how long it takes, and (it’s taken) way longer than I usually have it,” Kirilenko told Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game. “So I am trying to take care a little bit more. That is why I am not that confident.”
At least Brook Lopez is feeling good. He told reporters this week that he actually feels fine, but that the team’s doctor’s have not cleared him yet. That’s just as well to me because one extra loss is better than losing him for an extended period of time.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to be, that’s not up to me,” Lopez said. “I feel good. I feel like I could play. I’m not the one calling the shots there. We’ve got to think about long-term. I don’t know. Again, that’s [a decision for trainer] Timmy [Walsh]. I feel if I had to I could play right now.”
LONG PRACTICE: Kevin Garnett explained to reporters that he feels better about the team after their hard practice on Tuesday. I guess I’m wondering how that makes up for Kidd cancelling practice on Sunday and the morning shootaround on Monday, but KG knows better than I do.
“I feel better about this group man,” Garnett told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com. “We still haven’t been whole. We’re still dealing with different ailments and the minute we have all our guys back, we go through something (new). So it’s just always something at this point. We’re not using any excuses. We’re not that type of team. We’re all trying to find our identity and who we are and what we’re going to be night in and night out and be consistent with that.”
The Nets have said all season long that their practices have been better than their games which is why I can’t get excited by this.
PIERCE ANGRY: Paul Pierce, who easily played the worst game of his season on Monday (though he is dealing with a groin injury) was pretty upset by the way the team played against the Blazers and in general. He used health and chemistry as excuses for why the team is losing.
“As competitors, we’re angry,” said Pierce. “Nobody likes to lose. Everybody in this group that we’re here with is very angry. Nobody’s happy about losing [...] A combination of things has to happen. We’ve got to get healthy. Things aren’t going to happen overnight, we understand that, but at the same time, we’ve had different lineups within the first 10 games, probably more different lineups or unpredictability about who’s going to be playing then probably anybody in the league.”