It’s often said that misery loves company. If that were true, then the Brooklyn Nets have requested and received company this season. Misery comes in different forms. Wins and losses, and dysfunction are perfect examples. Disappointment is also a component of misery. Teams like the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, the Sacramento Kings, and even the Portland Trail Blazers have entered the discussion. But this article is about the Brooklyn Nets. The misery continues for the Nets.
First, the Obvious: The Nets Have the Worse Record in the NBA
The Nets have the worst record in the NBA. They are the only team without double-digit number of wins this thus far. Fans traditionally are obsessed with the wins and loss column, so there is some discontent among factions of Nets Nation. That said, the team has endured some of the worse fortune in the league. This roster is quite possibly the least talented roster assembled in the NBA. Or at least since the turn start of the Millennium.
General Manager Sean Marks has been afflicted with the sins of a previous administration. However, he enthusiastically has gone about this reclamation project and there are signs of progress. NBA pundits, scribes and experts alike have been effusive with praise for Marks’ job. This is tough job.
Second: Bad luck with Injuries Prove a Major Factor
The Nets has endured some rotten luck with injuries this season. Starting point guard Jeremy Lin has missed 35 games thus far this season. If one does the math, they would quickly surmise that Lin has appeared in only twelve games thus far. Hamstring injuries are often tricky and setbacks are often during recovery. Lin in a recent interview expected his return to be within “a week or two”. The team issued another statement showing another setback. He’s out for another extended period. Marks issued the following statement:
“During the course of his rehab, Jeremy re-aggravated his strained left hamstring and will be out approximately three to five weeks as he continues to work towards a full recovery. We understand and appreciate Jeremy’s competitive desire to get back on the court with his teammates, however, we are going to be cautious with his rehab in order to ensure that he is at full strength once he returns.”
Third: Patience is Once Again Required
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: How many players have appeared in all forty-eight (48) games for the Nets this season? Ten? Five? No! Try one, Bojan Bogdanovic. All the other players have missed games this season. Revelation of the season Sean Kilpatrick, has missed only one game. Currently, Joe Harris has missed the last five games, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is questionable currently. Concurrently star center Brook Lopez, healthy throughout, was rested five times because of his injury history.
Brook Lopez and Caris LeVert are OUT (Rest) tonight at Cleveland. #Nets
Fourth: A Dearth in Talent
Due to the oft-mentioned past administration, the Nets has significantly less talent than all the other teams in the NBA. This is not an excuse. Just a fact. How many players on the Nets team would have been able to honestly compete for a position on another team’s rotation? Maybe three, definitely no more than five. That said, Dallas Mavericks signed former Nets guard Yogi Ferrell to a ten-day contract. He is the only ex-Net from this season to play in the NBA post Nets. That’s proof that the talent level is evidently less than the other teams.
Fifth: But Wait, There’s Also Good News
Caris LeVert is showing he was well worth the wait. Remember LeVert came into the league injured requiring extensive rehab and downtime. Since his return, he is averaging more than thirteen points per thirty-six minutes. He’s a rangy, athletic, player who is improving every day, each day. Fellow rookie Isaiah Whitehead, continues to be a revelation. Detroit Pistons cast-off Spencer Dinwiddie has shown moments. Former Toronto Raptors draftee Quincy Acy signed to back to back ten day contracts. His addition has been so fruitful that he signed a two-year contract with the Nets.
The coaching staff have been very good. They continue to get no name players ready to compete. Head Coach Kenny Atkinson is enthusiastic and hardworking with his team. He has made mistakes but he’s a rookie head coach. One must mention Adam Harrington. His primary role is an assistant coach with responsibilities for player development. Harrington’s last job was Kevin Durant’s shooting guru. Look at the development of Whitehead, LeVert, Harris, Kilpatrick and Hollis-Jefferson. Not to mention, Brook Lopez is now a noticeable threat from beyond the three-point line.
Sixth: Overall, Misery Continues but Progress is Evident
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 29: Brook Lopez #11 of Brooklyn Nets during a basketball game between Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings at the Barclays Center on December 29, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)