Remember when the Brooklyn Nets were 11-4? They were one of the hottest teams in the NBA, beating up the competition and looking like they were worthy of the move from New Jersey into their fancy new palace in The Big Apple.
That was at the end of November and since then they’ve gone 5-11, most recently getting blown out by 30 at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, scoring an embarrassing five (yes, five) points in the third quarter.
The Nets fired Avery Johnson and are rolling with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo for now, but there’s no certainty that he’s the permanent solution.
They’ve quickly gone from an Eastern Conference contender to a big mess. Point guard Deron Williams puts a lot of the blame on himself, but clearly he’s not the only problem.
“I think we’re a little out of whack right now, as a group,” Williams said. “I know I am, individually. I’ve got to play better. I’ve got to find ways to get going. Even on bad nights, I don’t play like this. I don’t even feel like it’s me out there on the court. I’ve just got to snap out of it.”
Williams is the team leader, and they look to him for guidance. He’s been working his butt off over the last year, both in preparing for the Olympics and getting ready to be the face of the new-look Nets. He admits he may have pushed himself too hard and that could be the reason for his current struggles. Obviously, there won’t be any time off for him for the rest of the season, so he’s going to have to find a way to get it together.
The Nets have a solid chance to right the ship in the next couple weeks though. Five of their next seven games are against Washington, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Toronto. It could be a good opportunity for Williams and his team to get their groove back. However, if the struggles continue through an easy part of their schedule, then the wheels may come all the way off in Brooklyn.
Image: NY Daily News