December To Forget For The Brooklyn Nets

Avery Johnson with ball in hand

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a month makes for head coach Avery Johnson and his new look Brooklyn Nets.  The Nets played the best basketball in their franchise history for the month of November at 11-4 and were tied for first place in the Atlantic division with the New York Knicks.

Coach Johnson was winning the Coach of the Month award and the Nets were 7-1 in their new home in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.  The Nets were the darlings of the NBA and people around the league were talking about them while the Nets made it into the Top 10 in most power rankings for the first time in years.

Then the calendar changed to the month December and the Nets’ world has been off its axis ever since.

The Nets have been a complete disaster in the last 10 games at 2-8, tied for fourth-worst record in December with the Detroit Pistons, going 1-5 at home and finding new and exciting ways to lose games like the old New Jersey days.

The most disturbing trend is the one that shows that the Nets have lost a game in which they’ve had a lead of at least 13 points six times this season, which “leads” the NBA.  The second-half collapses have been epic in nature and each has been more gut-wrenching than then previous one.

The team has somehow lost its way whether it be the injury to Brook Lopez, Deron Williams questioning the Nets system along with his own confidence or losing the last three out four games in utter collapses, something is wrong.

Williams spoke about the status of the team right now after tonight’s loss to the Knicks 100-86 that leaves the Nets at 13-12 for the season:

“We are frustrated. We’ve got to change some things. … It’s like we lost a little bit of our toughness and we have to get that back.”

Joe Johnson seemed confident about the system the Nets are running and feels its on the players to work it out:

“It works in the first half, so it should work in the second half. It’s not about the offense. It’s about us not running our sets.  We just have a tendency to play one on one basketball, and it’s not going to work.”

“We’re just not running our sets right and we’re not completing them,” Johnson continued. “It’s been killing us. We’ve gotta watch some tape, look at the first half and the second half to see what we’re not doing right.”

Lopez was so upset about the loss to the Knicks tonight and how thought he played that he escaped out of locker room before reporters could even get a chance to talk to him.

The Nets have the next three days off to try and figure out what is going on and what “system” or “attitude” changes need to be made to move on and get out of the December funk.

Maybe Santa Claus can bring the Nets some Wins for Christmas.

John Paolantonio is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the Brooklyn Nets. Follow John on twitter @pingshoops and like his page on FaceBook for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.

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