The Nets lost their seventh in a row on Wednesday night at Barclays Center, 103-92 to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nets are now 16-23, with this streak starting after they battled to hit the .500 mark, at 16-16, on January 2nd.
Nets center Mason Plumlee spoke of the streak becoming a psychological factor as it continues, and he said, “You know it’s tough man. No one’s feeling sorry for us so we just have to get it together and get a win – whatever that means; turnovers, get to the free throw line, be more aggressive. At the end of the day, we have to find a way to win. At one point, everyone on this team has been a winner or on a winning team, so as a player you know what it takes, so you just have to go out and win.”
Plumlee also spoke of all the turnovers the Nets have committed, including 18 on Wednesday night. On if there’s a reason for it, Plumlee said, “I’m not sure, to be honest with you. There’s a lot of them though.”
One issue in the losing streak has been the increasingly poor shooting of Joe Johnson, who shot 3-for-12 overall and 2-for-5 on threes and finished with 8 points. He played 38 minutes and has played over 40 minutes many games this season.
Nets point guard Jarrett Jack said of trying to stay positive, “You know, it’s tough. I know for me personally, it’s tough to deal with. We just try to look at the next opportunity we have to walk in between the lines. That’s the only way to look at it. We have to look forward to Friday, and go out there and put out a complete 48-minute game.”
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins has talked the past couple of weeks about having to play Johnson big minutes. He spoke on Wednesday night about Johnson possibly being burned out, “I’m not concerned about it, but it’s certainly a real possibility. This is the league, what are we going to do? We can play Joe for 26 minutes, but guys behind aren’t stepping up and playing better. I could sit there and play other guys, but if I do that and it doesn’t work out, then I have to go back to the guys we’re counting on. That’s basketball and if you look around the league there are a lot of guys playing a lot of minutes, it’s that time of the season. We’re in the middle of January and guys are a little bit tired. That’s the way it goes.”
Hollins also spoke of the Nets’ taking care of the basketball, and he said, “You just have to make good decisions. Life is about making decisions and making good ones. You make bad ones, bad things happen a lot more often. We just have to be better with the ball and be decisive when we’re going to do something and not play in a crowd.”
The Nets play a home-and-home with the Washington Wizards on Friday night in Washington and Saturday night in Brooklyn. Jack said of the Wizards, “They’re a tough team. They have a group that’s been playing together for a while now. You know, they came off a pretty good playoff run last year. They’re a high power team. You got to do a good job taking shots and rebounding the basketball.”
Brook Lopez said of the Nets showing any progress against Memphis, “We were there in portions.When we’ve played well this season, we’ve been there pretty much the entire game. It’s a matter of sustaining effort, sustaining defense and sustaining execution.”