By now we’ve all seen the video of Kevin Garnett try to bite the hand of Joakim Noah. It was entertaining in a typical Garnett fashion, but made me think this was the first time the Brooklyn Nets have crossed my radar so far this season. Sure, the season is only a hair over a month old, but I expected at least a sniff of interest in the Nets and so far the only thing my nose is doing is being filled with a two-week old cold.
Before their game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, they sit at a 6-9 record, making them a bubble team for the playoffs. They are 18th in the league in overall points per game, 20th in points allowed, and scraping the higher end of the basement in rebounds and assists per game.
Possible the only thing interesting about them is that they have the most expensive Big 3 in the league currently. And for what? Second place in the abysmal Atlantic Division? Deron Williams shooting 44% with 6.4 assists per game? Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett taking bets to see which one will cash their next paycheck the fastest? New coach Lionel Hollins already in mid-season form trashing his big men? Even the owner is looking for ways to step away from the team.
Mirza Teletovic is putting up some good numbers, but Mason Plumlee can only get 13 minutes a game and Jarrett Jack is not putting up the same numbers he did last year in Golden State. Bojan Bogdanovich has shown some spark, but also has only averaged 9.9ppg. I don’t think the expectations were high, but they’re not even putting on a show the way that an Orlando Magic or Milwaukee Bucks do on a nightly basis.
The Nets are explosively mediocre. Last season you could bank on a couple of narrative arcs concerning the last stand of Batman and Robin in Garnett and Paul Pierce, but Pierce joined the WizKids. Derron Williams is getting lapped in terms of point guard interest because that is sort of what happens to a thirty year old guy with ankles a stiff breeze away from putting him on the bench again. And to lead the pack is Lionel Hollins, who is known for his disinterest in developing young players of which there are seven players under the age of 26 on the team.
Including Brook Lopez, who last year battled injury and has started slow has seen his minutes shrink in the last five games. In seven games this season, he hasn’t even played 30 minutes.
The Nets had their shot last year to get deep into the playoffs, but Miami had to continue their destiny in losing to the Spurs in the Finals. And now the Brooklyn Game is in transition mode with a coach who is not known for his transitions. But the car crash in slow motion doesn’t even appear to be worth the watch. Just wait for the sound of metal colliding.