Until the last night of January, the Brooklyn Nets had decided to stick true to their New Year’s resolution of competing with the type of energy and effort that’s expected out of professionals.
Then the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder came to town and made Jason Kidd’s squad look like the lifeless 2013 version again with a 120-95 beatdown.
The biggest worry that results from a long night of misery like Friday night is that it can’t be overlooked for a team that has struggled the majority of the season the way the Nets have. Taking a beating of that proportion could absolutely crush their confidence and lead to a colossal setback moving forward. Bad habits are hard to break for anyone, and NBA players are no different.
Ten wins over the first 11 games of the month would be outstanding for any team, but it was all the more important for Brooklyn given how it spent the first three months of the season being the biggest disappointment in the league.
The heartbreaking loss to Toronto two games back wasn’t any cause for concern considering how freakish it really turned out to be. But the ambush Kevin Durant and the Thunder gave the Nets has the potential to send them back into that dark place they called home for so long.
Oh, and grabbing only 17 rebounds all night – the fewest single game total in NBA history – doesn’t help that much either. Especially not when you’re headed to Indiana the following night to take on a team who rebounds as well as anyone.
Brooklyn’s panic meter disappeared for most of January, but it looks like it has made its way back into the picture.