Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts
The Nets have their eyes on their watches, as they wait for the remainder of the 2015-16 season to mercifully expire. After allowing 139 points to the Magic on Tuesday, the Nets folded against the Cavaliers on Thursday, trailing by as many as 32 in the fourth quarter. Is it over yet?
"I think the mindset of the whole team, myself included, I think guys are worried that there's not much time left, we're not fighting for anything," Thomas Robinson told reporters after Brooklyn's blowout loss on Tuesday. "No knock on our team, but mentally it's tough to keep fighting in games and showing up every night the way things are going for us, and the end of the season being so close. I think that's a problem we've got to shake real quick."
It's a candid thought, and one that I really can't blame anyone in a Nets uniform for having. This season has been a slog through the sobering reality of what happens when you mortgage your future and go belly up. There has been a coaching change and front office turnover to go along with injuries, regressions, and the buyout of the team's leader for the last three seasons. So if Brooklyn is finally ready to pack up shop, well…they're a couple months behind the rest of us.
Don't get me wrong, this team played hard for interim coach Tony Brown. They won some shockers (last week's triumph over King James and company comes to mind), and were in some tough ones late that they probably didn't have any business being in. That in and of itself is a victory. Sean Kilpatrick has been a mini-revelation, earning himself a three-year deal after coming out of obscurity, and we got some sneak peaks at future core players (like Chris McCullough), as they played some productive NBA minutes.
But the reality is that this is a situation that's going to get worse before it gets better, and it makes me feel for some of the veterans, specifically Brook Lopez and Thad Young, who committed to multiple years of this mess last summer. It's going to be a few years before basketball in Brooklyn gets people excited again. I think they finally have the right man for the job in Sean Marks, but he has a mountain of work to do.
So with seven games remaining, I'm giving the Nets a pass. If they're already mentally laying on a beach somewhere, or thinking about their first morning of sleeping in without a practice or a shoot around to get to, more power to them. Because the next few years are going to require a lot of work to get this franchise back to a respectable level. I just hope when the time comes, some of these guys will still be here and ready to answer the bell.