The Nets were dominated from start to finish by the Timberwolves on Sunday at Barclays Center, and the scuttlebutt after the game was about the team's lack of effort.
Brooklyn's starters were completely outplayed by Minnesota's collection of young guns. Karl Anthony-Towns had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins posted 16 points in 32 minutes.
"We didn't play hard," Jarrett Jack told reporters after the game. "We didn't show any resistance. The score was very indicative of that."
"It's nothing Xs or Os or anything like that," Brook Lopez added. "It was just energy and effort."
It certainly looks like it, and that could be the final nail in Lionel Hollins' coffin. The last few games, all the talk has been about effort from the veterans. That's inexcusable. If you're a young player on this team, you should be playing your tail off every night to try to make an impression. And for the vets, especially the ones who re-upped here on multi-year deals, there's no direct way off this ship. You've got to try to make this work. But if your starters play to a combined -66 on their home floor against a 11-16 team, how can anyone think you haven't given up?
If the Nets have quit, then it's time to start tearing this thing down brick by brick. That means making moves in the front office, the coaching staff, and in the personnel department. The NBA is a long season, and it's clear that the Nets aren't going anywhere, so why not see what you can get for some of your pieces? And if you're going to do that, you have to let a new general manager put his stamp on the club, which means finally cutting ties with Billy King. Let a new GM bring in his coach, who will install the system, and try to build this thing up.