The Brooklyn Nets are struggling in January. They have dropped 5 of their last 8 games and dwindled out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The team hasn’t had much time to rest between games either. This week they played four games in five days. For Nets head coach Steve Nash, he is just happy the long stretch of play is finally over.
“One part of us is glad to get this week over with. Traveling across the country and playing four in five nights. Time zones and late games. Early games and all that stuff, I felt for our guys a little bit trying to get some juice tonight,” Nash said after Thursday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder per NetsDaily. “We didn’t play well. That’s definitely part of it and those guys played very well. It was tough. You can just tell it was a tough ask for our guys with all the travel and playing.”
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Nets May Trade Jevon Carter at Trade Deadline
Although they have their All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving back (albeit on a part-time basis), the Nets outside of their ‘Big 3’ are a below-average roster. With contenders like the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls having rotations that go 8-10 players deep, Kyrie, James Harden, and Kevin Durant alone won’t be enough to secure a championship for the Nets. According to Jake L. Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Nets could be looking to part ways with one of their key offseason pickups.
“The Nets are said to be exploring trade options for reserve point guard Jevon Carter. Brooklyn has $6.7 million and $11.5 million trade exceptions to play with,” Fischer writes in Bleacher Report.
On the season Carter is averaging 2.8 points per game on 29.7% shooting from the field and 28.8 shooting from the three-point line.
Harden Sounds off on Nets Current Situation
Much like last season, this year’s Nets squad has been a complete roller coaster ride. Wednesday they were at full strength and beat the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls on the road. But on the second half of a back-to-back on Thursday, Durant rested and Kyrie wasn’t available because it was a home game. Harden has learned to accept that the Nets’ situation is peculiar, and it won’t be changing anytime soon.
“It feels different when we got everybody there. Like, last night (in Chicago) was just how it’s supposed to be a majority of the time,” Harden said per NetsDaily.
“Ideally, we would love to have yesterday’s team every single game. And then like I said last night, see where we can gauge ourselves, see where we can get better, see what we’re not great at, but it’s kind of hard to tell because we got different lineups every game.”
Even without Irving and Durant suiting up, most people expected the Nets to be able to beat a 14-27 Thunder squad. Not only did they lose, but they lost by a large margin. Those kinds of losses bring up questions on the legitimacy of the Nets as top contenders.
If Brooklyn is serious about making a run at the title this year, they’ll likely need to bring in another veteran player to deepen their rotation. With the trade deadline less than a month away, they are running out of time to do so.