The New Jersey Nets have tied the record for the worst start in league history: 0-17. They gained their 17th loss against the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, November 29th. The Nets opened the game making 4 out of 5 of their first shots, gaining a for point lead. However, once the Lakers gained the lead, they held on to it. The Nets shot a field goal percentage of 43%, and 41.7% from 3-point range. Despite the loss, Brook Lopez led in scoring with 26 pts. and Devin Harris had 16. The Lakers outscored the Nets in every quarter except the 4th. By then, however, L.A. had a 22 point lead.
Offensively, the Nets shoot an average of 86 ppg. and 16 turnovers per game; defensively, they allow 97 ppg. There have been a few close games, including the season opener vs. Minnesota, but have failed to close out any games. The best game of the season, so far, was the November 14th loss to the Miami Heat. There were 13 different lead changes, and 11 ties. It seemed as if the Nets would finally add a game to the win column, until Dwyane Wade hit a 3-pointer with 0.1 of a second left. To make matters worse, this season has also been riddled by injuries. Devin Harris missed 10 games due to a groin injury; Courtney Lee suffered a similar injury, and missed 7 games. Jarvis Hayes injured his hamstring in the season opener and has yet to return. Chris Douglas-Roberts missed a few games after a bout with the H1N1 virus. Yi Jianlian suffered a knee injury, and has only played 4 games this season.
Hours before the game vs. the Lakers, the Nets organization fired head coach Lawrence Franklin. He has been replaced by the GM, Kiki Vandeweghe; he will officially take over Friday vs. the Bobcats. Tom Barrise will coach the team Wednesday vs. the Mavericks (via njnets.com). When asked about the situation, Rafer Alston, who joined the Nets during the offseason with Tony Battie and Courtney Lee, stated that “some players needed to be fired” (via netsarescorching.com). Alston, a strong force behind Orlando’s Eastern Conference Championship, averages 9.5 ppg, and 34% from field goal range.
The Nets may be looking at 0-18, as the next game is vs. the 13-5 Dallas Mavericks.
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