After yet another loss by the Brooklyn Nets last night against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, this team looks like it is playing with no energy or heart. A year that started as a historic season filled with passionate fans and players has turned into a lethargic team that just doesn’t care about the game or about what their coach has to say. This team has stopped listening to the coach, and their play on the court looks horrible. They are back to .500 and in the last place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. As a Nets fan, I am embarrassed to watch them on TV because they don’t show up to play. Obviously, it is too early to say that this team has given up on the season. But the lack of effort and hustle that showed up once in a while is now showing up every minute of every game. The Nets’ defense is non-existent. Their offense runs sporadically when the players feel like running through screens and running pick & rolls, but for the most part it just consists of players dribbling and shooting the ball out of ISOs. I understand that the coach doesn’t deserve all of the blame for the Nets’ slump, just like he didn’t deserve all of the credit when the team was winning. However, the bottom line is that the players have tuned out this coach for better or worse, and they have stopped paying attention to him on the side line. They could care less about what he has to say and what plays he draws or what defensive adjustment he wants to make. Changes need to be made in order for this team to show a new attitude, and a new passion for the game of basketball. Firing Avery might not be the best move since adjusting to a new coach takes some time (ex. Lakers), but if the losing and this lack of effort from the team continues, it’s a move that needs to happen.
This team is playing very much like the Dallas Mavericks team that tuned out many of his lectures and had grown tired of his hands-on coaching style. That team stopped respecting him, and the Nets look a team that has done the same. The current scenario that the Nets are in looks identical to the situation that ended Avery’s tenure with his former team. Some questioned Johnson’s coaching decisions as the Mavs struggled just like he is being questioned about the Nets current slump. With so many high-priced (and highly talented) players on the roster, many wondered if he was properly utilizing some young players and stifling some veterans. It was clear that Johnson, who played point guard during his NBA playing career, ran an offense that did not mesh with All-Star Jason Kidd, who came to Dallas in a major trade this winter. You can replace Jason Kidd with Deron Williams and Dallas with Brooklyn in the previous sentence. It has been argued that Avery Johnson, a highly disciplined player, did not like Kidd’s improvising and did not let him run the team on the court something that he is doing with Deron and the Nets. The first signs of frustration by the All-Start point guard came last week when he criticized Avery’s offense. Avery understood that his firing by the Mavericks was necessary for both parties, similarly for the Nets and Avery it seems even more important that he be gone in order to salvage this historical season.
After giving this city and fan base hope in the month of November, the Nets have all but made sure that no one thinks they are any different from the lowly New Jersey Nets. They are 3 – 10 in the month of December, and during every game they look like they are just out there because their schedule says that they need to be out there not because they want to play basketball, let alone win games. Every player on the Nets seems content with the losing, and the hopeless basketball being displayed by them. Billy King needs to decide whether he wants this season to be remembered or forgotten in Brooklyn’s history.
While the Nets continue to lose, we will offer 10% discount on ALL Nets tickets at NetsCourtside Store! Use the Code: 4ZHRJC. This includes prime games such as the Spurs, Bulls, and Mavericks. Discount expires when the losing streak is snapped!