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Brook Lopez: This is better than 12-70

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A debate has begun among long time fans of the Nets franchise: Is this team the worst in Nets history ... or is it still the team that went 12-70 in 2009-10.?

Brook Lopez would know. He played on both.

“This has been a completely different mindset and attitude,” he told Greg Logan after practice yesterday. “It’s completely night and day from that situation previously.

“We have such positive guys who come in and really, truly put their work in, giving it their all. We’re leaving it on the floor. It’s a completely different situation. I think we’re happy that guys aren’t quitting. You can definitely see there’s no quit in us.”

But the Nets of 2016-17 may finish with a worse record. At 9-49, the Nets need four wins in the next 23 games to get beyond 12-70. Over the last 23 games, they are 1-22. In fact, they have lost 27 of their last 28, a stretch that began on December 28. Not encouraging.

Marc Stein in his weekly power rankings wrote that it’s hard to imagine the Nets improving, even with the return of Jeremy Lin. He wrote...

Kevin Pelton? Zach Lowe? Micah Adams? Tom Haberstroh? Which one of the ESPN smart guys can tell us when Brooklyn will score that ever-elusive 10th win? The Nets are 1-24 in 2017 -- you can look it up if you, like us, struggle to believe that's a real stat -- and have six games left on a merciless eight-game road trip before hosting their neighboring pals from Madison Square Garden on March 12. The six road stops, if you dare to be curious: Sacramento, Utah, Portland, Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas. If Kenny Atkinson can't find a way to win one of those first four games, Brooklyn will tie the longest losing streak (19) in franchise history.

Kenny Atkinson who wasn’t around for 12-70 admits he is losing sleep as well as losing games.

“I do get feedback from the people I trust, whether it’s Sean or opposing coaches who have been complimentary. They say, ‘You’re doing a lot of good things. Stay with it.’ Really, I’m overwhelmed by the support. But yeah, living with it every day and every night when you go to bed ... I’m not napping like I used to. You’re just thinking.”

So what drives them? Lopez again.

“It’s a lot easier to look at where we are right now because of the work we’ve put in and the attitude we have and the kind of group we have going to war with them every night. I think we have been growing.”

Growth — and there has been some — isn’t what most fans are looking for. It’s a win.