The New Jersey Nets have won just four times in their first 15 games. This is not exactly what Deron Williams was looking forward to but when your top scorer, Brook Lopez, breaks his foot during pre-season, the slow start can be a bit more understandable.
Anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Not only did Lopez go down, but so did Damion James. James, the starting small forward, provided the defense and energy needed in the beginning of games. James has been out eight games so far and is expected to miss the next two with a sore foot.
James' and Lopez's absences have been noticeably missed as the Nets have only outscored teams twice in the first quarter, while falling behind by double digits in seven of those games.
Then there was Anthony Morrow's shooting slump that happened in the first few games. Also free agent acquisition Shawne Williams, who was signed for his three-point shooting, seemed to forget how to shoot. Williams has only made seven out of his 33 attempts so far and has missed the last three games with a stress fracture in his foot.
DeShawn Stevenson showed up to camp out of shape. Mehmet Okur, who was brought in through trade as a stopgap for Lopez, came late and had to learn the playbook on the fly.
All of this, combined with Deron Williams' subpar play and a schedule that featured 15 games in 23 days—10 of them on the road—led to just four victories.
Through all of this misery that these 15 games have brought, there have been some bright spots and here they are.