I know the Nets as currently constituted are a little short on talent to be considered a playoff team. But I certainly expected them to play better than this thus far. When watching the games (at least until I have to turn the channel in disgust), it seems to me the Nets are consistently a step slow to get to loose balls, a step slow on their defensive rotations, and many of their jumpers appear flat and are clanging off the front of the rim.
I'm sure much like the fans, the players probably felt that resolving the lockout was a long-shot, and I have to wonder if the majority of the Nets players were completely unprepared for the lockout to end, and just arrived at camp out of shape. I don't see anyone ballooning like Shawn Kemp did when he was w/the Cavs. But I found it interesting that the day after Avery Johnson reportedly lit into the team about their poor defensive effort that the Nets promptly went out and gave up 123 points to Denver. When I saw that score, it harkened back memories of Dr. J and Super John dueling against David Thompson and company.
I understand Williams was playing overseas. But I'm sure there's a pretty big difference between being in good enough shape to excel in Tureky versus being in NBA shape. I know he has a barrel-chested body type, and he doesn't have that traditional basketball build. But he appears to be one of the biggest culprits here. The others who appear to be in particularly poor condition (at least from watching the games on TV) are Shawnee Williams, Stevenson and Jordan Williams.
I know King hasn't assembled the most athletic roster in the world, and w/ the exception of Stevenson, I don't think any of these guys are necessarily known as good defenders. I don't know if it's the schedule, the shortened training camp or something as simple as conditioning. But I certainly expected the Nets to play better than this - they've only resembled an NBA team in a couple games thus far. And when you watch the Nuggets looking like the Showtime Lakers because of the Nets apparent defensive indifference a day after the coach lit into them about their defensive effort, it only leads one to wonder if these guys just aren't in game shape yet. If that's the case, maybe they can work their way up to mediocrity as they get their legs back.