inconsistency: The team's biggest problem has been inconsistency: it has played well at times, but at other times it has played very poorly.
Does that word not fit this Nets team more than anything else?
Listen, myself, as well as most Nets fans, did not actually think that this star-laden team would jump onto the court together and run off a 23-5 streak to start the season, but we certainly did not expect to be 10-21 going into the new year either.
We have all been as patient as we can be through the first 50 games of this season but at some point there comes a time when enough is enough, and this team needs to find an identity and stick with it game in and game out. The lack of energy, passion and effort that the Nets exuded in the first 31 games was completely and utterly unacceptable, so when the month of January came, it seemed that this veteran team run by rookie head coach Jason Kidd finally had the light bulb go off. NOT.
The run of 13-1 was great to watch and thoroughly enjoyable for the first time this season, but since that run they are a .500 team again, and you never know what you are going to get each night. Lets take a look at where it has gone wrong once again.
The team had not had that same focus since the second half of the Dallas game, after Mirza Teletovic went off for 24 points in the second quarter to help the Nets build a big lead. That lead dwindled in the second half and the Nets held on for dear life to get the win, but to me they just haven't been the same since.
The following game was one of the ugliest of the season, with the Celtics being so pitiful that the Nets found a way late to win by default. The energy and effort was not there again, and it almost bit them against one of the worst teams in the East. Then came the Raptors last-second debacle where the "leader" of this team Deron Williams single-handedly gave the game away with bonehead mistakes.
Here is where this team drives you nuts:
The Nets then had four days to figure out what happened at the end of the Raptors game and come back to host the best team in the West in Oklahoma City. Yet they came out to play with no energy or fight, and they simply got their doors blown off.
I thought those 20, 30-point blowouts were a thing of the past for Brooklyn, but once again the inconsistency reared its head again. They went to Indiana the next night and played much better, behind a great game by Shaun Livingston, and they almost pulled out a win in a game they had no business even being in.
They came home and gutted out two ugly wins against the historically bad 76ers and the depleted Spurs, somewhat masking their recent spat of poor play. The disturbing game came when they traveled to Detroit, facing a team in disarray, and they got run out of a building with less than 2,000 fans watching the effortless Nets and Pistons.
To make Nets fans even more crazy was last night's game, where the Nets came out with all kinds of energy and effort, and they stomped the Pelicans in the first half, holding them to the lowest first-half point total (28 points) of the season for Brooklyn. The second half was the complete opposite as far as energy goes, and the "starters" gave away much of the lead before the bench came back in and salvaged the win behind a monstrous effort by Mason Plumlee.
Each night, it seems to be a different player that has to have a "career night" for the Nets to hold on and finish these teams off.
So why is that?
Why is this team so damn inconsistent, game to game and quarter to quarter?
My answer is the man who drives this car - D-Will.
Williams is a shell of himself from his days in Utah. It's evident to anyone that watches this team.
He has not played well at all this season, regardless of his injuries, and it's going to cost the Nets the division and a deep run in the playoffs if he doesn't get back on track and start to lead this team like All-Star point guards are supposed to do.
He shows glimpses from time to time, with a 10-assist game, or a 20-point night, but the inconsistency of his game is killing this team.
Last night he had six assists in the first half, and zero in the second half, to go along with his measly nine points. The bottom line is that your best player cannot be that inconsistent from game to game without expecting your team to be inconsistent.
I am not putting all of this on D-Will, but when you are the "franchise player," certain things are expected of you. It comes with the territory. As a friend of mine said to me recently, "It's like the check engine light won't ever go off with this guy."
D-Will is the engine that runs this car, and when the engine that runs this car starts to play at a consistent level, then this team will start to play at a consistent level. Let's just hope it magically happens again right after the All-Star break, just like last season.