What a disaster of a week it was for the New Jersey Nets.
After beating a top team in the Chicago Bulls, the Nets then went out and completely stunk it up against two of the lower teams in the East.
New Jersey is showing us that it cannot score, and there was also a noticeable lack of energy in the team's Friday and Saturday games. Despite some of the numbers, the defense is not as bad as it might seem, but the offense just can't get it done.
Here is a quick look at last week:
New Jersey is now 10-27, in last place of the Atlantic Division and 13th overall in the Eastern Conference.
When the Nets beat Chicago, it appeared they might be on their way to a little winning streak. They had just beaten an elite team and had games against Washington and Milwaukee later in the week—two of the league's bottom feeders.
Then the Nets quickly got down 18-3 in the first quarter against Washington and were never able to cut the lead below 13.
It was a very disappointing game not just for the result, but because the team had no energy to begin the contest. To be honest, it looked as though some of the players did not even want to be there.
They still had a chance to salvage the week against the then 13-21 Bucks, but again got severely outplayed to begin the game, this time falling behind 28-15 by the end of the first quarter.
It was one of the more frustrating games of the season, as it could have very easily been mistaken for a Milwaukee practice session.
The Bucks got to the rim at will, and New Jersey's defense provided no resistance at all. It's a minor miracle that Avery Johnson's head did not explode during the game.
Former Net Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 24 points in the "game." CD-R was traded away from New Jersey for a 2012 second-round pick over the summer, a move I was never in favor of.
Douglas-Roberts is a solid player who knows how to get to the rim and is beginning to do a much better job finishing there. The night before playing in New Jersey, he scored 30 points in Miami.
Along with the amount of money the Nets gave Travis Outlaw in the offseason, that trade was easily the worst move the Nets made leading up to this season.
If you take away the game against Milwaukee, the Nets defense was not awful. The team held both Chicago and Washington to 44 percent shooting, and for the week had an average edge in rebounding of 41-37, including 13-7 on the offensive end.
Turnovers are also still a huge issue.
The Nets averaged 16 a game last week. What's worse, they forced only 10 a game.
I firmly believe that part of the problem right now is the constant trade talk surrounding the team.
There are a few players (Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and Troy Murphy) who basically know they are going to be traded. Many others are probably wondering if their time with the team is up as well.
The same problem seems to be afflicting Denver. If a trade involving Carmelo Anthony is going to happen, it should go down sooner rather than later, as neither team will want to continue putting their players through this with the results they are getting.
Looking at the week from an individual standpoint, only a couple of players were particularly strong.
Jordan Farmar had games of 20 and 14 points, while Kris Humphries nearly averaged a double-double with 17 PPG and 9 RPG last week.
Brook Lopez did not score more than 14 points in any game and had a rebounding high of four against Washington.
With 18 points and 11 assists, Harris played very well against Chicago, but was injured in Washington and did not play against Milwaukee.
Favors was injected into the starting lineup for the first time this season, and flashed some of his potential. When he was able to avoid getting into foul trouble, he showed the ability to finish around the rim, rebound and play defense.
Unfortunately for him, he may have only been increasing his trade value.
No other player is really worth mentioning, although Sasha Vujacic did proved that, while he is streaky, he is capable of making a significant contribution on any given night.
The Nets will embark on their second Western road trip this year. All three of their games next week are on the road, where they will face the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers.
If last week is any indication, we'll be in for a long seven days.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!