When the Nets close out the 2013-14 season, they will look back at Friday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers and see a wasted opportunity. Sadly, this game marks one of many in a disappointing season thus far for Brooklyn.
Jason Kidd did not pull any punches in his post-game press conference either. He questioned the team's effort and labeled them as "soft" for their performance against one of the league's lesser teams.
"It's just one thing: effort. That's it," Kidd said. "One thing. That's what basketball is built on is effort."
But as Paul Pierce pointed out following the game, the Nets should consider themselves one of those lesser teams. They have yet to prove otherwise.
"We’ve got to be up for everybody," Pierce said. "It’s not like we’re walking giants. We are bottom feeders right now just like Philadelphia."
The difference: the Sixers expect to lose. They trot out a lineup with a majority of players still playing on their entry-level contracts. They realize the value of a lottery pick in one of the deepest Drafts in recent memory.
The Nets, on the other hand, might not make a first-round selection for half a decade or more.
Once again, Kidd received everything he wanted and more offensively, but the team fell asleep on the defensive side. Much like their loss against the Washington Wizards, the Nets fell on the receiving end of a lopsided rebounding disparity.
After Brook Lopez skipped his media obligations, Pierce hurled several barbs that would seem to indicate the Nets franchise center.
"It’s just inexcusable right now, one of biggest teams in the league getting crushed on the glass every night," Pierce said.
Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson missed the game, the latter with what the team described as "personal reasons." Garnett sat for rest.