Here’s just how bad it was:
• The Nets had as many fouls (22) as they had made shots (22).
• They twice as many turnovers (18) as they had assists (9).
• They shot 22.5 percent in the first quarter and scored 11 points.
• They never led and trailed by as many as 39 points.
The Nets PR staff was generous to the media in giving out these two tidbits:
• The Nets loss by 36. Their largest margin of defeat last season was 32 points on Jan. 28 at Indiana.
• The Nets scored 30 points in the first half. Their season-low for points in the first half of any game all of last season was 31 at Atlanta on March 26. And get this:
• Two seasons ago, the Nets started 0-18 and became just the fifth team in NBA history to lose 70 or more games. None of them were this bad.
Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York — Nets embarrassed in their home opener
Newark, N.J.–The Nets without Brook Lopez are not very good and they likely were gassed after coming back from 21 down to win at Washington last night. On the other hand, it kind of felt like the Hawks could have won with their second unit, and when’s the last time you could say that about them against any opponent? The reserves scored 55 of 106 points and collected 27 of 51 rebounds. More importantly, the Hawks extended their lead even as the reserves kept checking in. None of the starters played more than 26 minutes. “Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”
Michael Cunningham, Atlanta-Journal Constitution — Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 106, Nets 70
Overwhelmingly positive vibes for Kris Humphries, who was under vocal attack from opposing fans in New York and Washington following the end of his brief marriage to the reality TV star Kim Kardashian, turned negative against the Nets when Jeff Teague buried a 3-pointer to put the Hawks up by 57-30 early in the third quarter. Asked about the energy in the building, Nets Coach Avery Johnson said: “Oh, man. That’s why I feel bad. This was a great crowd. I mean, great crowd. Into the game, holiday season. And we come out with a poor performance. Hopefully they’ll give us another chance.”
Johnson added, “I think if our players were in the stands, they probably would have booed us.”
Jake Appleman, New York Times — Nets and Fans silenced in home opener
With the Nets trailing by over 30 points and playing hopelessly inept, a faint chant of “We Want Howard” traveled through the arena and progressed into something much louder, symbolizing the struggles of a team in transition without any semblance of an offense or a defense. The Nets’ final home opener in New Jersey turned into a schooling, courtesy of the Hawks, with Nets minority owner Jay Z sitting courtside until the bitter end. From start to agonizing finish, the Nets were pummeled Tuesday by Atlanta, 106-70, giving nobody a reason to forget that Dwight Howard has requested a trade from Orlando.
Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News — Fans chant for Dwight Howard trade as NJ Nets crushed in home opener by Atlanta Hawks
“It’s very disappointing, we came out and put up a stinker like that in our first” home game, Deron Williams said. “It was one of those games where nothing seemed to go right. Definitely we have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it.” To be fair, the Nets were playing the second game of a back-to-back after winning in Washington Monday night, and the Hawks were playing their season opener. But Nets coach Avery Johnson has said repeatedly he won’t allow his team to make any excuses this season. So suggesting they looked tired after their come-from-behind win over the Wizards won’t fly. Besides, if they’re tired after the second game of the season, what are they going to look like when they’re back next at Prudential Center next Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers? That will be their sixth game in eight nights.
Colin Stephenson — Nets embarrassed in home opener with 106-70 loss to Atlanta Hawks