Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus says Nets fans should put away their brown bags, whether Brett Yormark is looking their way or not. In a realllly in-depth analysis of the worst teams of all time, he ranks the Nets no worse than 13th among the league's most futile. Putting aside the more arcane "Pythagorean Win Total", here's his bottom line: the Nets have been horribly unluckly.
"The Nets record has been skewed by an unbelievable record of 1-13 in games decided by five points or less," he writes. "If lady luck had fallen New Jersey's way this season, it could easily have 16 or 17 wins by now. That might not be enough to keep fans from wearing bags over their heads at the Izod Center, but it would have at least staved off the Fred Carter references."
So, who was the worst team ever? Not the 1972-73 Sixers, who were even less lucky than the Nets. No, Doolittle thinks it's the 1992-93 Mavericks, who Derek Harper led to an 11-71 record. "But in cautionary tales there is often hope. A decade after losing those 71 games, Dallas was back in the conference finals. New Jersey/Brooklyn fans hope it doesn't take that long, but at least it's heartening to know they shouldn't have to wear those bags forever."
Worst of the Worst: Where Do the Nets Fit? - Bradford Doolittle - Basketball Prospectus