Monday, January 19, 2015

Brooklyn Nets: The Woes of Flatbush

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

Outside of a Kevin Garnett headbutt, 
the Hoops have been doing little rumbling in Flatbush.

BROOKLYN NETS: Time For Hollins and the Hoops to Get Out of Town and Regroup.

With forty-one games in the books, the Brooklyn Nets are at the halfway point of the season.

If the playoffs started today, the Nets would qualify as the Eastern Conference 8th seed.  That's a small consolation though.  Along with the Miami Heat, they are presently the only two qualifiers with losing records in a very weak field.  That makes them nothing more than the best of the rest; hardly a contender.

The Nets have a 17-24 record, which in today's NBA is actually good enough for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division; nine games behind the Toronto Raptors.

In closing out the first half of their season Saturday night against the Wizards, with less than a minute left in the game and the Nets down by only five, I saw Coach Hollins implement no particular plan, and a team playing with no particular enthusiasm, or clue.

After the game, Jarrett Jack said they were tired.  That might have been true for him, otherwise, yes, Barclays fans are getting worn down by a tired situation.

Sensing the Nets desperately needed to get out of town, the schedule makers mercifully sent Coach Hollins and the Hoops out west this week for games against the Kings, Clippers, and Jazz.

The damage, however, has been done.  Friday's victory over Washington on the front end of a home-and-home snapped their 7-game losing streak.  Saturday's loss nonetheless became their 8th loss in their last 9 games; made them 2-8 in the new year; and dropped them to 8-14 at home.

They have exactly three highlights this season; an overtime victory over the Spurs, an impressive win over the Bulls, and perhaps Friday's victory over the Wizards.  They otherwise failed to sustain, following the San Antonio victory with a 3-game losing streak, and following that Bulls victory by losing 8 of their next 10 games.

What comes next is anyone's guess.

What we do know, is that this team is a slow, plodding, nonathletic, non-rebounding mess.  They lost a ponderous game to Philadelphia earlier this month, and for a third straight season own an amateurish record against winning teams.

Through 2 1/2 seasons in Brooklyn, the Nets are 110-95, and fading.  They won 49 games in their inaugural season, then dropped to 44 victories last season.  They need to go 23-18 the rest of the way just to reach 40 wins for a 3rd straight season, and go 24-17 just to finish the season with a .500 record.

For too long now, their two franchise players have failed to stay healthy.  This season, their limited play on the floor earned them seats on Coach Hollins' bench until further notice.

Worth mentioning is that Lionel Hollins is Billy King's 4th head coach in less than three seasons, and in an indirect way, Billy King's harshest critic.  The man minces no words when criticizing King's creation to the press.  During a recent post-gamer, he said the Nets identity was that of a bad shooting team.

Lines like that leave little room for interpretation.

Gerald Wallace; Paul Pierce; Shaun Livingston; Andray Blatche; Reggie Evans; Andrei Kirilenko; Marcus Thornton just to name a few - including the present collection - it's been three seasons of revolving rosters with no end in sight.

In the process, Billy King has this team financially capped out through next season, and has compromised the draft for years to come.

Their #1 pick in this summer's draft is expected to be swapped with the Atlanta Hawks - the #1 team in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets future drafts are no less compromised.  Boston owns the Nets 2016 #1 pick, and the Clippers have a right to swap #2 picks.  In 2017, Boston holds the right to swap #1, while the Nets #2 went to Atlanta.  In 2018, Boston owns Brooklyn's #1, and their #2 is potentially lost to Philadelphia. Philly also owns their 2020 #2 pick.

You would think such circumstances would inspire ownership to get involved, if not trigger a mushroom cloud rising over Flatbush.  But, instead of lashing out at his overly expensive, woefully under performing team, and at the GM responsible for putting this mess together, Mikhail Prokhorov is reportedly bailing out on Brooklyn.

The trade deadline is one month away, and with an apparent lack of oversight, Billy King is seemingly free to continue running a muck.

Woe is Flatbush.


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