Around the Nets: Roundtable of Disappointment

Despite dropping forty points in the first quarter on the Portland Trail Blazers, the Brooklyn Nets brilliantly imploded again. Things have gotten so frantic in Brooklyn that people are crucifying Jason Kidd for not standing up enough. After the disheartening loss, New York’s media members were shut out of the locker room for over 30 minutes, and many of the Nets left without saying much afterwards. 

Some questioned the leadership of the new acquisitions:

 “Speaking of Garnett and Pierce, it was pretty small-time of them to not speak after the game. Coming off a rough loss, with Lopez, Wiliams and Kirilenko banged up, players of their stature should have been available to speak after such the team meeting, if for no other reason than to project a calmness within the locker room.

Instead, by not speaking, they only made their situation worse and brought further heat upon themselves. They may not care, but it was pretty sad seeing rookie Mason Plumlee become one of three players to speak to the media postgame because his far older teammates couldn’t bother to do so.” -Tim Bontemps, New York Post

Some criticized the players who did not stay and make themselves available:

“There’s plenty of blame to go around.

‘Well, he feels it’s his fault,’ Jason Terry said of Kidd. ‘We look in the mirror as players and feel it’s our fault. So everybody’s in this together; that’s what it boils down to.’

Apparently, the Nets are all in only until the final horn sounds. Only Terry, rookie Mason Plumlee and Livingston spoke to reporters about the Nets’ struggles. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Reggie Evans — who all started — did not make themselves available.” -Andy Vasquez, The Record

While some have recognized the voodoo curse that has been cast on the Nets’ third quarters:

“Third quarters have been a reliable harbinger for how the Nets have performed. Entering Monday, they were undefeated when outscoring their opponents during the third quarter and winless when being outscored. It proved true again.

The Blazers opened the fourth on a 12-4 run, quieting the crowd and forcing the Nets to take a timeout. Minutes later, scattered boos — some of the first around Barclays Center this season — could be heard as the Nets slumped into another timeout, trailing by 12. During the next timeout, fans simply got up from their seats and left.” Andrew Keh, New York Times

Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York added:

“The Nets came into the season with aspirations of winning a championship. They knew it was going to be tough, though, because they were incorporating seven new players and a rookie head coach. Age was their biggest question mark. Would they stay healthy? How quickly would they find chemistry? 

So far, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. With the exception of Lopez, their stars haven’t played like stars. Williams’ Player Efficiency Rating is below the league average. Garnett is shooting 32.6 percent. Joe Johnson has missed 40 of his last 58 shots. The Nets currently rank 19th in offensive efficiency and 25th in defensive efficiency. Injuries have obviously already taken a toll. ” -Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York

And some writers spoke about the suddenly fleeting dreams of an NBA Championship:

“Remember how the Knicks and Nets were destined to meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals next spring for the right to challenge the Heat or Pacers?

A funny thing happened on the way to June. It’s called October and November, when the two local NBA teams are now a combined 6-13 and fading faster than the sunlight. At this rate, their meeting on Dec. 5 at the Barclays Center might well become the coldest ticket in town.” -Filip Bondy, New York Daily News

But, in the most damming one of them all, one source is putting most of it on Jason Kidd:

“The same scout said he had counted only 15 plays run by the Nets in the games he has watched. Multiple observers have noted that the Nets offense lacks any discernible flow, as if the stars are all simply taking turns with the ball.

Last week, ESPN’s David Thorpe, who also works as a skills coach to a number of NBA players, called Kidd ‘the worst coach in the NBA.'” -Howard Beck, Bleacher Report

In all, the blame and disappointment has been wide-spread in the Brooklyn franchise thus far and it’s tough to exactly pinpoint the main cause. As Bondy points out in his report: “this has pretty much become a worse case scenario.”

With the Charlotte Bobcats on the horizon, the Nets will look to regroup with some sort of consistency, as it looks as if Deron Williams is fully cleared to play. I know we’re all tired of having to look for a silver lining, so here’s one that we can all agree on: it can’t really get any worse than this.

Right?

NY Post: Nets Rewind: Search for ‘chemistry’ in players-only meeting.
The Record: Second-half collapse sinks Nets
NY Times: Nets Start Fast but Lose Momentum and the Game
ESPN New York: Nets flame out, Kidd takes blame
NY Daily News: Brooklyn Nets showing their age early, melting down just like rival Knicks
Bleacher Report: Jason Kidd’s Competence Quickly Becoming Brooklyn Nets’ Biggest Question Mark

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