After acquiring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett over the summer to pair with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, the Brooklyn Nets were hoping to challenge the Miami Heat for top honors in the Eastern Conference this season, but things haven’t gone quite according to plan.
Lopez is out for the season with a foot injury, Pierce and Garnett haven’t gelled in Brooklyn’s lineup and the team is off to a 9-19 record, one of the worst in the East. Williams explained his sentiments on the season to reporters after losing big on Christmas Day, calling it something out of a bad dream.
“I’m even surprised with this season, how it’s played out. 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.”
Brooklyn’s season is reminiscent of the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers, who paired a number of aging All-Stars together but ended up struggling with injuries and getting bounced out of the playoffs last season. It also is similar to the Philadelphia Eagles squad that was dubbed the “Dream Team” by the players after a lot of big offseason moves that never panned out.
The Eastern Conference is watered down this season so all hope isn’t lost for the Nets, but the current state isn’t looking good. Brooklyn will need to find an identity real soon or fall into a habit of losing with one of the NBA’s highest payrolls. This is another example of how buying a bunch of high caliber players doesn’t always work out according to plan, especially when those players are nearing the ends of their careers.
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