Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
It's probably good that a number of the power rankers are off this week (or their rankings are late) because for the first time this season, more of them than not put the Nets at No. 15 or below, meaning out of the playoffs and once again into the lottery.
The firing of Avery Johnson may be part of it and the team's two wins over horrible teams didn't compensate. Nor did the Era of Good Feelings with P.J. There were some nice mentions of Brook Lopez's numbers (against Bismack Biyombo and Tyler Zeller) and indeed Lopez now ranks sixth in the John Hollinger Player Efficiency Ratings.
Still of the first five rankings to roll in, four of them have the Nets at Nos. 16, 18, 14 and 15. Read 'em and weep...
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (16)
More important than the coaching change was the re-emergence of Brook Lopez as the Nets' offensive fulcrum. Lopez totaled 61 points and 22 rebounds in wins over Charlotte and Cleveland over the weekend. Brooklyn is now 7-3 when Lopez scores 20 points or more, and they're scoring an efficient 107.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. If they have an All-Star, he's it.
Marc Stein, ESPN (18)
Weak as the weekend comp was, seeing Brook Lopez rumble for 30.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg in interim coach P.J. Carlesimo's first two games reminds you that the forces behind Avery Johnson's demise really started to snowball when Lopez hurt his foot (again) so soon after the Nets' great November.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (14)
The Nets are 2-0 under P.J. Carlisimo, although that really has a lot more to playing the Bobcats and Cavaliers than it does the coaching. Carlisimo wants the job and knows winning a lot of games is the only chance he has.
Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (15)
Brooklyn didn't take long to immerse itself in New York's rich tradition of throwing away head coaches like expired subway passes. Avery Johnson, who led the Nets to a franchise-best 11-4 start and was named the NBA's Coach of the Month for October and November, was fired Thursday. The move somehow managed to top the Lakers' firing of Mike Brown for ridiculousness. Sure, the Nets are 3-10 in their last 13 games, but 10 of those games have come against teams above .500. It didn't help that Brook Lopez missed five games, all of which the Nets lost. Nor did it help that Deron Williams is shooting a career-worst 39.8 percent. But the Nets can't make Williams hit shots or Lopez not miss games, so they forced action another way, axing Johnson.
There was another unfortunate list available for Nets fans on Monday, the All-Disappointment Team put together by Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated. You already know who's on it.