The Brooklyn Nets came into the season with championship aspirations. They have plenty of time to turn their misfortunes around, but a 3-7 record was not the start they were looking for. Adding veterans like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to a roster that already included Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez was supposed to be a recipe for success. That has not been the case.
On Monday, the Nets lost a home game against the Portland Trail Blazer — their fourth loss in five games. According to Tim Bontemps of the NY Post, the locker room remained closed for 25 minutes after the game and was a “ghost town” when the doors finally opened. Johnson said the players had just held a players-only meeting.
“Just talking about the game, and what we’ve got to figure out,” Johnson said. “We’ve just got to get some chemistry, because when we get stagnant to where we can’t get a bucket, we have to have something we can go to and we’ve just got to figure it out.”
Chemistry is likely one problem, but the Nets have to be concerned about the durability of Pierce and Garnett. KG is nursing an ankle injury and has averaged just 6.9 points per game this season. He is shooting just 30.9% from the field. Pierce is averaging 13.2 points while battling a groin injury. Still, Johnson stuck with chemistry as the main issue.
“Chemistry,” Johnson reiterated when asked about Brooklyn’s struggles. “It seems like at one point in time we have pretty good chemistry … then we just look like we don’t know what we’re out there doing.
“We get a little frustrated when the defensive schemes stop working, guys stop making shots and then the scheme is kind of out of the window. We’ve just got to stick to the game plan and see what we can do to get out of this.”
Pierce and Garnett are huge names with championship experience, but Nets fans have to be wondering if they simply have logged too many minutes throughout their careers to make another NBA Finals run. At this point, I don’t see it happening.