clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Clueless Joe Johnson & the Brooklyn Nets really have no answers for recent struggles

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets seem clueless as to why they're playing so poorly, despite knocking off two of the NBA's top teams two games in a row. Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Lionel Hollins and even Brook Lopez seem to be just as confused as one another ... or the fans.

On the three-game losing streak:

"I have no idea," Joe Johnson answered to a question about the recent slide. "It's been very frustrating. You know, we've been having a lot of mishaps -- turnovers -- and it seems late in the game we're not really giving ourselves a chance." The despondent Johnson scored nine points against Utah and has only scored in double digits once in the last four games.

Joe wasn't the only Net with zero answers for the struggles. Deron Williams was just as confused as Johnson when asked about the struggles.

"No clue. I wish I knew, you know, we just seem out of sync out there and we don't seem to be playing very well out there together on either end of the floor." Williams is 4 of his last 21 from the field over the last two game where he's averaged 37 minutes and close to four turnovers.

Later in the interview Williams said, "If I did know, I think we could kind of switch it around or flip flop -- do something, but right now we're in a tough situation where we're fighting for a playoff spot and we are playing really bad. It's like we take one step forward then two steps backward, we beat Dallas on the road and Golden State at home and then we lost these three in a row."

It's been nothing but a below-average season for the Nets, who are 11 games under .500 and two and a half games out of the playoff race. They're currently tied with the Boston Celtics, the team they traded three first-round picks to while the Nets have zero remaining players from the trade (although they did get Thaddeus Young for Kevin Garnett). If there's any case you can make about the trade it's that the Nets landed Thaddeus Young, who certainly isn't worth three first-round picks. Maybe one. But not three.

The debut of Thaddeus Young in Brooklyn was highly anticipated, especially after he was traded while the Nets were in the midst of an eight game road-trip. Everybody was excited to get home. However, things haven't gone as planned since the Nets have returned to their home court where they stand at 11-18 on the season, which is the seventh worst home record in the league.

Since the team has returned for the five game home stand, they've gone 1-3 -- with two of the losses coming against teams with losing records.

Again, coach Hollins and the players had no explanations for the poor play at home:

"Everything we do on the road is better than it is at home," Hollins said. "Go check the numbers and compare that out."

Well, he's not exactly correct.

The Nets have the same amount of losses on the road, but have 14 wins as a result of playing three more games on the road. But in terms of the numbers, per NBA Stats, the Nets have shot 44.6% at home and a near identical 44.8% on the road, to go along with the 44.4% from three at home and 44.3% on the road. They're also near identical at home and on the road with rebounds, assists, turnovers, steals and points per game. The only thing that increases on the road is blocked shots from 3.3 to 4.9.

Maybe, they're just not that great of a team. Their record shows for it and a few of the other players are feeling the same way Hollins is.

"I have no idea why, Hollins continued." You can ask every one of those players in there and they'd tell you something probably different. You could ask every one of the coaches and they'd probably tell you something different. But no one knows why."

He has that correct.

"It's strange for whatever reason, but I don't know what the problem is," Johnson said.

"I got nothing for you," Williams continued. "I don't really have any answers for our home struggles, you know, usually it's the opposite of that."

"We've underperformed," Brook Lopez said afterwards. "They [the fans] expect better from us and have high expectations and we need to meet those. And I think we ourselves, in this locker room, have even higher expectations."

That's Brooklyn's former "big three" with the disheartening words for fans attending Nets' games.


At least there's no finger pointing, right?

The Nets are obviously in a tough position and with 21 games remaining -- they're gonna have to find the answers to these same questions, or better yet, start winning games before their nightmare in the making finally becomes a reality, with Danny Ferry and Danny Ainge both starring as the villains.