It is bad enough that the Brooklyn Nets, with the highest payroll in the NBA, are losing. It’s worst that they have become accustomed to losing.
That’s coach Jason Kidd’s impression after watching his team fold to the Indiana Pacers Monday night, 103-86 at the Barclays Center, where their fans roundly booed another anemic effort.
“I think it is getting very close to just accepting losing,” Kidd, the first-year coach, said, after his team lost its third straight to drop to 9-18 this season. “We are kind of getting comfortable with losing. And we got to make a stand with that because when things get tough, do we just give in, and most of the time right now, we do.”
Not acceptable for any team, but especially a club with an estimated $190 million payroll, counting the impending luxury tax. But it does not sound good.
After the Pacer defeat, Joe Johnson told ESPNNewYork.com, “It’s not the first time (losing was accepted). We haven’t put up much of a fight. It kind of comes with the territory.”
Point guard Deron Williams, who has been among the many Nets injured this season, said: “I’m not comfortable losing. It’s not fun. Not only when we’re losing during the game, but when I go home sitting there and thinking about it, it’s not fun.”
Kidd broke down his theory.
“When we don’t make shots, we tend to hang our head and we forget about playing defense,” he said. “You look at Indiana, they got a couple of layups there because of missed shots and our transition [defense], which was really good in the first half because I guess both teams weren’t making shots. And there in the third, Indiana is making shots and we are not, and the game kind of got away from us.”
Performing at a higher level always helps.
“I need to play better,” Williams said. “I need to be more aggressive for us to have a chance–especially with (center) Brook (Lopez) going down (for the season with a broken foot), that’s what I talked about is stepping up.”
Despite their horrible start, the Nets find themselves just 2½ games behind Toronto for first place in the Atlantic Division.
“Yeah, I mean, anything can happen,” Williams said. “We’re just digging ourselves out of a hole right now. We’re trying to make the playoffs and we’re still only a couple games back of leading our division, and that’s kind of where our focus is right now.”