After the Celtic collapse, where the Nets looked, played and were coached very badly, I couldn't believe the commentary in the press the day after - to the effect of 'The Nets played well' and 'The Nets just ran out of gas'. The Star Ledger had an article where Paul Pierce gave the Nets credit for being one of the top four teams in the East.
I'm saying to myself, What planet are these guys from?
Apparently I was not alone. My wife tells me that even tho it was a technical circus, on the post game show on the radio more than one fan complained that the Nets could go nowhere without a new coach. My son called me up to tell me he thought the 4th quarter was coached "horribly" and began to agree with my sentiments regarding Frank.
But for me it was more than just yet another bonehead coaching job. The Nets looked lost again, in that 4th quarter, a team that had no clue and no outside force to help them. Like Bruce's river, the Nets flow where they flow, without levees, without purpose, without sense, and when they take a wrong turn they just keep going.
The Nets were down against Portland tonite, a team they beat IN PORTLAND, 24-10 in the first quarter, with a little less than 3 minutes to go. A minute later it's 25-10. There's two minutes to go or so. Your team is already down 15. Given your team's history this year, particularly at home, it's important to mitigate the damage as much as possible.
So what does Frank do?
Pulls the team's leader, the coach on the floor, the guy who makes things happen, out of the game... I give up.
And so did the team.
And so did the fans.
The Nets play the Knicks at home next, on Wednesday. The Knicks are having a worse season than the Nets, with a worse coach, and a worse ownership problem.
They are also 2-0 against the Nets this year.
And they are coming off a truly big win.
The Nets are in total disarray. I am sure they are not unaware of Frank's incompetance. But nor are they unaware of their ownership situation, that Bruce Ratner cares not one whit for this team qua basketball, and that the last thing he is going to do is fire the coach and be on the hook for a buyout. They must live with him.
How do you get up for games in that kind of atmosphere? What happens if you find yourself once again down in the 1st, knowing your history? One thing is certain - you will find no answer from the bench. And any help you might get on the floor, from your leader, who puts out 100%, 100% of the time, who does not give up and always fights, is now ON the bench.
Then you're down 8, 10, 12, 15 points after 1. The game is now a 36 minute game, and one that you need to win by 8-15 points JUST TO TIE. Game after game, night after night...
Marv Albert and his sidekick said over and over that Frank was "trying everything", but in fact he has tried nothing to stop the 1st quarter massacre, or to stop opponents runs or stop his own teams frequent dry spells. Same strategy every game, same tactics every game.
The Nets are back to under .500 again, and it doesn't look good for the rest of the month...