When will enough be enough for Nets management? For Jason Kidd’s sake, the answer to that question had better be “when the team is back to 100 percent.”
The Nets’ inauspicious start to the season has been frustrating and totally unexpected. Sure, there were some who believed the Nets were overrated to begin with. But no one saw a 3-10 start to the season. That brings us to a question that will be asked all season if the Nets don’t recover: Who is to blame?
The coach is usually the first person to fall on the sword. Just ask Avery Johnson. He took the hit for a 14-14 start last season. Should Kidd be held responsible for injuries to Brook Lopez, Jason Terry, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko—four players who are vital to the Nets plans? No, but that’s life in the NBA.
Part of the reason for the Nets’ woes are the third quarters. In Sunday’s 109-97 loss to Detroit, the Nets were outscored 34-15 in the third. It’s been a sore spot all season for the Nets, who were outscored in the third quarter five straight times during a recent stretch. In four of the five games, the Nets were outscored by 10 or more points.
“We’ve got to be the worst team in the league when it comes to third quarters and that’s not acceptable,” Kevin Garnett said. “As players, we have to be accountable.”
Is it a system problem? Is it effort? No one has the answer yet.
“To be honest, I can’t even put my finger on it,” Garnett said. “If I knew that, I would share it with you guys … It’s an ongoing thing. I don’t know.”
The Nets hosted the Lakers last night (Wednesday), and after that, they have road games in Houston and Memphis.
As bad as things look, the Nets are only two games out of the final playoff berth. That doesn’t mean they can suffer many more losses, especially if Williams, Lopez, Kirilenko and Terry are out for prolonged stretches.