Thursday, December 3, 2009
0(-18) the Humanity!!!
With a 117-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks the New Jersey Nets fell to 0-18, setting a new NBA record for futility to start the regular season.
"At this point, I feel the streak has definitely gotten the best of us. It's really starting to get to us now," guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "So when a team goes on a run, we kind of, it's almost like we give up, which is really unfortunate but that's what it looks like to me. We kind of give up and just lay down instead of trying to fight."
With a move to Brooklyn in the cards for the 2010-2011 season and a spot in the 2010 NBA draft lottery all but certain, general manager Kiki Vandeweghe will move from the frying pan into the fire Friday as he takes over the sinking ship vacated by the recently fired one-time longest tenured coach in the NBA Lawrence Frank.
"Nobody likes to lose. Period. And obviously we made it clear and you all know this is a developmental year, but nobody expected to be 0-17," Vandeweghe said before the game. "That's just obviously not acceptable and I think that it's not acceptable to anybody and especially the players."
Whether the Nets record setting 0-18 start is acceptable or not, the tide does not look like it will be stemmed anytime soon. The Nets roster is composed of talented but young and inexperienced players. Devin Harris, the Wisconsin product who returned from the disabled list in time for last night's ill-fated performance and Brook Lopez, the 7 footer from Stanford, are arguably the Nets best players. Coupled with the emergence of Chris Douglas-Roberts as a scoring threat, the future looks promising for the New Jersey franchise.
And then there's the here and now.
The Nets next 5 games come against teams that are at or around .500 including Friday against a much improved Charlotte Bobcats team that, ironically, yielded the Nets last victory at the end of the 2008-2009 season. In addition to the lack of depth on their bench, the Nets will undoubtedly be up against players that will motivated by the desire not to have be forever known in the annals of NBA and American sports history as the team by which the Nets infamous streak of underachievement was ended.
The Nets should send a collective thank you to Sir Isaac Newton because everything that goes down must eventually, sometimes against the force of gravity, come back up.
Looking at the Nets December schedule, it looks like New Jersey's record losing streak has teh possibility of coming to an end either December 8th in Chicago against my beloved Bulls team that is talented but inconsistent especially against teams that they should beat on paper. They especially have difficulty putting teams away in the 4th quarter. A sure bet (if there is a such thing anymore after watching the beginning of this NBA season) would be December 23rd against the equally woeful Minnesota Timberwolves who have rookie PG Johnny Flynn, veteran PF Al Thornton, and no one else.
By then, the Nets could have potentially added 10 additional losses to their record and may only want a quick and painless end to their wasted season for Christmas.
So far, all they deserve is a lump of coal.
New Jersey Nets Schedule - December
Fri, Dec 4 Charlotte 8:00 PM
Sun, Dec 6 @ NY Knicks 12:00 PM
Tue, Dec 8 @ Chicago 8:00 PM
Wed, Dec 9 Golden State 7:30 PM
Fri, Dec 11 @ Indiana 7:00 PM
Sun, Dec 13 @ Atlanta 5:00 PM
Tue, Dec 15 @ Cleveland 7:00 PM
Wed, Dec 16 Utah 7:30 PM
Fri, Dec 18 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Sat, Dec 19 LA Lakers 8:00 PM
Wed, Dec 23 Minnesota 7:30 PM
Sat, Dec 26 Houston 7:30 PM
Mon, Dec 28 Oklahoma City 7:30 PM
Wed, Dec 30 NY Knicks 7:30 PM