The Nets Hit Rock Bottom

Steve O Speak

For a team that has been as bad as the Nets this season, its hard to believe that they could have finally reached a new low, but I guess when you (don’t) try hard enough anything is possible. The Nets could very well end up with the worst record in NBA history, and if they reach that ‘milestone’ it will be due to their play this last week. Last Wednesday the Nets managed their 4th win of the season, beating the Clippers 103-87, and had three games remaining on their homestand. Those three games were against the three other worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards, 76ers, and Pistons. At home the Nets should have been able to win at least one of those games, if not more, but instead they got swept by the bottom of the East.

To make matters even worse (if possible), basketball guru and Nets assistant coach Del Harris is leaving the team. The loss of Harris doesn’t exactly bode well for the Nets win total to reach double digits this season. Whether he was forced to resign or couldn’t take being part of such a bad team, it is a fairly ominous sign for New Jersey.

The saddest part about this team is they are not without talent. Brook Lopez is emerging as one of the better young centers in the game, and should be the building block for the Nets. Power forward Yi Jianlian, has made some strides this season to realize his immense potential (though he still disappears far too often). Point guard Devin Harris would be capable of starting for many teams in the NBA. In addition, the Nets have some intriguing 2nd year players like Chris Douglas-Roberts and Courtney Lee, who should become solid role players. The real problem is that the Nets young players like Lopez, Jianlian, Douglas-Roberts, Lee and first round pick Terrance Williams should all be developing given the amount of playing time is available on the rebuilding Nets. But only Lopez is really establishing himself. Now not all of these players are going to be stars or even significant contributors, but they should all be producing more than they are.

Now the Nets and their fans (the few that are left), can hope and pray for winning the John Wall lottery (which could then make Devin Harris quality trade bait), but I wouldn’t count on it. Yes they will have the best odds of any one team 25%, (though someone should tell the Nets they could win a few more games and still have the same odds), but the other 13 lottery teams have a combined 75% chance of winning the lottery. Given the way this year has turned out for the Nets, I think the odds are against the Nets for getting Wall, and really with 30+ games remaining maybe the Nets should focus on this season rather than next year’s draft.

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