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Jason Terry says Nets need to play “desperate.” That and they need a better offense.

Nov 14, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams Paul Pierce Kevin Garnett Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets got manhandled by the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night. The Kings came in with a struggling offense yet put up 107 points on the Nets “defense,” while on the other end of the floor the Nets offense was stagnant and without ball movement, generating 86 points.

The Brooklyn Nets are 2-5 and have a lot of issues.

Which if the don’t get resolved will become a bigger problem as owner Mikhail Prokhorov has the largest payroll in the NBA, one that with the luxury tax imposed on it will cost him $187 million this season. (Remember the salary cap is at $58 million.) At some point he’s going to want some return on that investment.

Jason Terry spoke with Scott Howard-Cooper of about what is going on and like most players he went with the energy/desire concept over execution issues.

“It’s a long season. You’d like to say, ‘Stay even-keeled.’ But for us right now, this is desperation. Everyone that steps on the floor on Friday should feel desperation and come out and play with a sense of urgency. If you don’t you’ll be looking at another loss. It’s what it is. These teams that we’re playing are desperate, they’re playing with a much more sense like this is their championship. We’re not meeting that intensity level.

“Talking’s over with. There’s too much talking. We’ve done enough talking and now it’s time for some action.”

Effort is an issue, but the Nets have a bigger issue on the offensive end of the court.

I mean their offense is terrible. Against the Kings — again, not a good defensive team this season — the Nets had no ball movement, little shot creation and they were just isolation play after isolation play. The Nets were easy to defend. Early in the season we saw some sharp ball movement out of Brooklyn in a couple of games, but that has gone the way of the Dodo.

The Nets starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez is arguably one of the best in the NBA, so what is going on? Tom Ziller had an interesting idea about that at SBN after watching the Nets in detail.

The Nets’ stacked starting five… each had between 10 and 14 shooting possessions on Wednesday. There’s no way that players like Lopez or Williams should be so limited in terms of usage; for the season, Lopez has a usage rate of 25 percent, and everyone else is at 22 percent or lower.

The effect is that the Nets don’t really have Deron Williams or Joe Johnson out there. They have pieces of those players out there. Williams hasn’t had this low a usage rate since his second season in the league. Johnson’s current usage rate is 17 percent, which is right above a Thabo Sefolosha-type level. J.J. hasn’t been that low since his rookie year.

It’s not expected but it’s true — future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd has designed an offense that is not point guard friendly. Deron Williams should dominate the ball on this team. Williams should have the ball in hands almost as much as Chris Paul does with the Clippers.

If he does he can set up easy buckets for KG and Pierce (who should be glorified role players at their age and on this roster), plus Williams can get the ball into Brook Lopez’s hands down on the block. Joe Johnson can create and score on the wing and works pretty well off the ball.

Instead, it quickly devolves into isos.

There are 75 games for the Nets to figure this out and as I have said before, I really don’t think we know what kind of team the Nets are until close to the All-Star break. There are a lot of new pieces to meld.

But there is a lot of work to do (we didn’t even touch on the pedestrian defense in this post, or Garnett’s slow start). A little desperation wouldn’t hurt to push that along.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    You can’t tell that to Nets fans who think NAMES win games, as if any of those guys are any good anymore.

    • bougin89 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      I’m not saying the Nets will win the championship or anything but to say this as generally as I can, most teams will be playing much differently months from now, especially teams that have no chemistry yet.

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Good point. But even though they will play better when their chemistry improves, the owner is paying A LOT for a team that will only be good, make the playoffs and probably win in the first round and then lose in the 2nd round.

        I’d have to look it up so please don’t quote me, but he’ll pay like $80 million or more just in penalty tax this yr on top of the teams payroll.

        I’m glad he’s willing to spend unlike other owners, but one needs to spend wisely. And as great as KG and Pierce have been in their careers, they ARE at the tail end of it and they won’t be as good next yr as they are this yr and this yr they won’t win it all.

        On TOP of that, they traded away many of their first round pics for many of the upcoming drafts so when KG and Pierce retire very soon, they won’t be able to draft in the first round.

        So while they’ll be a good team this yr, it most likely will be their high water mark for about the next 4 yrs or so at least.

      • bougin89 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Agreed. The biggest issue they have had so far is Deron Williams, not the aging vets on their team. Williams will be the biggest reason for their success or failure. They absolutely went “all in” this year and I don’t think it was the smart move, at least for continued success.

  2. thomaskouns - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Nets would have been waaaaaaayyy better off to have kept their lottery picks and built that way as opposed to trading for declining overpriced free agents.

  3. tigerpork - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    …and a better coach.

  4. cruzan80 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    They were desperate when they traded for these bums….

  5. kb2408 - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    This is going to turn out worse than my LAKERS did last season!

  6. mackcarrington - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    The Nets needed to have “names” because they needed to make a splash to compete with the Knicks in New York City.
    They didn’t consider chemistry or an inexperienced head coach. Heck, on paper, it looked great to everybody.
    All the experts had them competing for the East Finals this year. And they may still figure it out.

  7. thetooloftools - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Ok.. so they were just going to roll the ball out and you expected to win?
    Your Brooklyn.
    Not L.A.
    Know your role and win some titles before YOU THINK you deserve ANYTHING.
    Not like a bunch of entitled punks thinking “it’s cool… it’s cool” while you just cash checks and don’t CARE.
    Your busted.

  8. thetooloftools - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    By the way.. the worse the Nets look, the better Danny A. looks because he dumped dead weight. Right out of the Patriots playbook. The old cows needed put out to pasture. I don’t like Boston people because they are rude and hey are (|)-holes, but I must agree with Danny on dumping the fossils.

  9. legend30 - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    I got the feeling Kevin Garnett wanted to retire this year, but Pierce basically forced him to come to Brooklyn. Pierce can probably play for another year or two, but man is he slow. My goodness! Joe Johnson is well… Joe Johnson… average player, nothing special. Brook Lopez is legit. D. Williams is overrated, I’m not saying he’s garbage, but he’s an above average player. He hasn’t been the same, since he left Utah. Jason Kidd has too much pressure on him to win in his first year. It’s awkward for KG and Pierce to listen to J. Kidd. They need a veteran coach. Maybe: Phil Jackson, Steve Van Gundy, Jeff Van Gundy, or Lionell Hollins. Just to name a few. Although the Nets won’t fire Kidd–he’ll be a good coach in the future, however, this is not right time. Still early, though… Let’s just wait for another 20 games, to see how things play out.

  10. savvybynature - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    You could let Deron Williams dominate the ball more and it might help, but being honest, he hasn’t been an all-star caliber player since he left Utah. It’s fair to ask how much of his perceived value came from playing for a HoF coach in Jerry Sloan.

    The real problem imo was hiring Jason Kidd. He might be a good coach in the future, but giving him reign over that roster right now is like handing the keys to your Ferrari over to your 16-year-old kid. Don’t be surprised when the result is a total wreck! Why not hire a guy like Lionel Hollins? Or at least someone with some ACTUAL coaching experience, particularly at the NBA level? Dumb hiring imo.

    • legend30 - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      You basically just said what I typed. Nice to see another person with great basketball knowledge. You’re my new favorite poster. Cheers!

  11. onlyavoice - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Mikhail didn’t want to hire Kidd, he knew Kidd had no experience,
    so Kidd challenged him to a drinking contest.
    Kidd said that if I can outdrink you I get the job, well Mikhail being a Vodka drinking Russian laughed & accepted & the 2 started drinking.
    When Mikhail came too at 7:00 am he looked at the TV & saw the headlines
    “Russian Owner Hires Jason Kidd As Head Coach”.
    As Kidd Was being interviewed he stated that he had not been to sleep yet, but was planning on staying up & celebrating.

  12. weaselpuppy - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Chauncey Rip Sheed Tayshaun and Big Ben were the only ones to be able to pull off the “Balanced 5 very good players” team concept because they played like a team…shared the ball, knew their roles, played with fire and played with grit and energy. Plus a nice bench of Corliss, Easy E, Memo, Lindsey Hunter and Mike James….what is the common denominator of all 10 of those guys? (well, 8…sorry Corliss and Memo)

    They all played DEFENSE.

  13. lakerade - Nov 15, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    The payroll is irrelevant, but the age has to be a major concern. Deron should be the motor but he’s pacing himself too.

  14. jjones314 - Nov 15, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    They only play hard when they face Miami.

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