Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/20/13
After an underachieving start, the Nets used all kinds of adjectives to describe the mood around the team, and none of them were good. Paul Pierce went with angry, Kevin Garnett said dismal and even the normally taciturn Brook Lopez admitted they were disappointed in themselves. The Nets (3-7) arguably are the biggest disappointment in the NBA, having dropped five of six, including a Monday loss to Portland that had rookie coach Jason Kidd trying to shoulder the blame. It’s misguided and overly simple; there is far too much blame to go around, and far too much misery as well. “Dismal. No one’s happy about how we’re playing. No one likes the current state. But everybody’s willing and committed towards changing it. The way you change it is through work, and that’s what we’re doing,’’ Garnett said. “The blame’s on all of us. It’s not just on Jason. You can’t put the [blame] all on him. We’re players who obviously have to be professional, come out here and do our jobs.’’ An anonymous scout was quoted in an Internet report saying Kidd “doesn’t do anything” and his bench comportment is “terrible,” an idea with which Pacers executive Donnie Walsh, the former Knicks general manager, vehemently disagreed. “Are those the anonymous scouts? Tell them to put their name to it,” Walsh said Tuesday night at Fordham Prep in The Bronx, where the Catholic school’s new basketball court was named Donnie Walsh Court. “I think he’s going to be a good coach. You got my name. Too many gutless guys in this league.” The Nets held a team meeting Monday night, and a nearly 2 ½-hour practice Tuesday in hopes of breaking their malaise Wednesday in Charlotte. It was an intense, defense-oriented practice. “That’s needed. It’s longer because, hell, we need it,’’ said Garnett, who — like Pierce — didn’t talk to the press Monday. “Obviously the more teaching within the system we’re all learning and trying to get down, trying to create this identity, that’s needed. Hell, if we’ve got to be here two, three hours, then that’s what it is.’’ It couldn’t hurt. Garnett admitted the Nets need to improve their defense, which is like saying water is wet. Their 102.4 points allowed is 22nd in the NBA, the 39.0 percent shooting they surrendered from behind the 3-point arc is third-worst. That — plus a lack of offensive chemistry — has led to a frustrating start. “As competitors, we’re angry. Nobody likes to lose,” Pierce said. “Everybody in this group that we’re here with are very angry. Nobody’s happy about losing. “We’ve got to hold everybody accountable: The players, the coaches, this one big group and we’re all in it together, so it’s not only on [Kidd]. It’s on all of us.’’ Pierce — who claimed he went looking for the press after Monday’s game, only to find they all had left — said the Nets are still confident, but just have to get healthy, and also get set lineups and rotations to help chemistry. That will be helped when point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez both return from left ankle injuries, which could happen as soon as Wednesday. “We’re really disappointed in ourselves,’’ said Lopez. “We know we’re better than this, and we want to prove that on the court tomorrow.”
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