When he traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge explained how he got enough assets to make the deal worthwhile to Boston. Ainge, via Mike Petraglia of WEEI:
“Brooklyn showed a great deal of interest in putting the ‘Dream Team’ together, with expense not [a factor], at any cost it seemed like,” Ainge told reporters
The Nets got the “any cost” part right, assembling a team with a historically high payroll.
But Dream Team? Not even close.
Deron Williams, via Mike Mazzeo for ESPNNewYork.com:
It’s like a nightmare,” Williams said after the Nets were blown out on Christmas 95-78 by the Chicago Bulls Wednesday afternoon at Barclays Center.
“The way the injuries have been and the things we talk about every day: the lack of energy, the lack of effort. I didn’t see that being a problem when we put this team together.”
A 95-78 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Brooklyn’s fourth straight defeat, dropped the Nets to 9-19.
Williams might not have expected them, but he understands the problems now. There have been injuries, the biggest being Brook Lopez’s season ender. And there has been talk about lack of energy and effort, most of it by first-year coach Jason Kidd, who remains in over his head.
The worst part? There’s no sign of waking from this bad dream anytime soon.
The Nets are already capped out for the next couple seasons. Their old roster leaves little room for internal improvement. And they’ve traded key draft picks to assemble this team.
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A rare chance for salvation comes with their next game, Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, one of the few teams worse than Brooklyn. But even that would likely be a temporary reprieve. The Nets’ following three games: at Indiana, at San Antonio, at Oklahoma City.
Brooklyn isn’t done. The Eastern Conference is too weak to knock them from the playoff race this early. But when beating Milwaukee stands to mean so much to a team – and that result going in the Nets’ favor is certainly not a given – yeah, I’d agree with Williams.