Last season a number of factors combined to leave the Brooklyn Nets falling way short of expectations, and this time around, things don’t seem to have improved. They currently sit bottom of the Atlantic Division with a 1-5 record. Their recent loss to the Memphis Grizzlies came even though Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant put in excellent personal displays.
The Nets, much like 2021-22, started the season as one of the favorites, but if you take a look at odds comparison site www.sidelines.io, you’ll see they have fallen way down the pecking order and are now set at around (+1000) for the NBA title.
The encounter between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets set an NBA record with four players scoring 35 or more points in a game for the first time since 1983. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane grabbed 38 points each, while Irving and Durant both netted 37, and that couldn’t stop Steve Nash’s side from slipping to a 134-124 loss.
They followed that defeat with losses against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Indiana Pacers, and one wonders quite where things will end for the Nets this season.
That latest loss means it’s the worst start for the Nets in the Irving/Durant era, and all is not well in the Barclay Center team’s camp. The issues appear to run deep, and in a recent game, Kyrie Irving was picked up on a courtside mic urging team-mate Ben Simmons to shoot. Still, the under-fire player was quick to respond to media reports of dissatisfaction at the franchise and defending his fellow Nets star.
“I just think like, if we’re going to come in and be honest as a team, I’m not trying to just be critical over what Ben’s done right or done wrong every single night. He’s a basketball player; he’s a professional, he has the skills to be a great professional, and he’s done it in the past. And he hasn’t played in two years. So you guys keep coming in here asking me, ‘What about Ben?’ ‘What about Ben?’ and it’s just he hasn’t played in two years. Give him a f***ing chance.”
Head coach Nash hasn’t held back in terms of his personal assessment of how his players are playing right now;
“That was a disaster. I didn’t see the will, didn’t see the desire,” he commented after the Pacers’ loss.
“We’ve got to look deep, deep inside ourselves and what we want to do, what we want to accomplish. Do we want to give up on this because it’s been difficult early, or do we want to stay the course and start to build something?” Nash added.
He’s not wrong, and the way things are going, you can expect things to get worse before they get better. Fortunately, the NBA season is a long one, so there is plenty of time for the Nets to turn things around.