76ers vs. Nets: Pitiful Performance From New Jersey Leads To 8th Straight Loss

Ryan ComstockCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2010

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The New Jersey Nets have been in some ugly and frustrating games this year, but their Tuesday night contest with the Philadelphia 76ers may have been the worst of them all.

Let's get the excuses out of the way first.

The Nets were without Terrence Williams, who is on his way out of town. They also lost Anthony Morrow to injury before the game even started.

Morrow hurt his right hamstring at some point just before tip-off. He tried to give it a go in the first quarter, but lasted less than a minute before heading back to the locker room, his night over.

In addition, New Jersey was unable to use Joe Smith as he is part of the Williams deal and they could not afford to give him the opportunity to hurt himself.

Now that that's out of the way, on to just how bad this game was.

In falling to Philadelphia 82-77, the Nets somehow managed to lose a game in which they held their opponent to 41 percent from the field (the league leaders in opponent field goal percentage, Miami, are at 43 percent), had a rebounding advantage of 51-36, including 19-5 on the offensive glass, and attempted more free throws than the Sixers.

They did this by shooting an abysmal 34 percent. It is simply stunning that this team can play with such tremendous effort against teams like Utah, Dallas and the LA Lakers, then turn around and play such uninspired ball.

This game raised many questions, most of them having to do with their highest profile players.

First off, who do the Nets think they are that they can overlook teams like this?

Why is Brook Lopez attempting just one more shot (11) than Kris Humphries (10)? Why does the young center disappear for stretches at a time? Why is said center able to grab just five rebounds?

What happened to Devin Harris' shot (4-of-11 from the field)? Why is Harris missing crucial free throws down the stretch?

And, perhaps the biggest doozie of them all, Travis Outlaw is really making $7 million this year? To go 6-of-17 from the floor and, for reasons unknown, launch six three pointers?

Something needs to change. The prevailing thought is that the deal involving Williams was done to allow the Nets to make a much bigger move, perhaps for Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony, though, has said he does not want to play for anyone other than the Knicks. New Jersey wouldn't really go through all this trouble to get a half-season rental, would they? Would they??

Avery Johnson has been very hard on his players. Chances are they will not be enjoying whatever post-game pep-talk he has worked up after this one.

He needs to find a way to get his team to put forth consistent effort. This has happened all too frequently this year. They play to the level of their competition.

If this is how they are going to perform without Williams and Morrow, they better have something in the works that can happen quickly.

If not, this situation is going to get very ugly, very fast.

12-70 couldn't really happen again, right?