NEW YORK -- It is that bad here.
On Friday night, the Nets became the first team in the league to start 0-6 after losing to the previously winless Los Angeles Lakers, 104-98. Kobe Bryant was serenaded with chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the sellout crowd at Barclays Center -- about 90 percent rooting for the Lakers.
“We understand what it is,” said Nets guard Jarrett Jack, who shot 8-for-22 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3-point range. “It’s a guy who’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. We understand what it is.”
Meanwhile, the Nets' search for that elusive first win continues. They face Jason Kidd’s young Bucks on Saturday in Milwaukee before beginning a three-game West Coast trip Wednesday in Houston.
Brooklyn is dead last in offensive rating (93.7 points per 100 possessions) and fourth-to-last in defensive rating (107.5).
“I don’t worry about that,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said when asked if he was concerned about losing his team. “All I can do is go and do my job every day. That’s not something that’s even on my mind.”
The Nets looked outmatched from start to finish Friday. Their first five possessions finished with four turnovers and an airball. They had 12 turnovers in the first half and shot just 3-for-19 from 3-point range overall.
Brooklyn had the ball down three with 24 seconds left, but couldn’t even get it inbounds. And to top it all off, no one wanted to take the blame for why they couldn’t execute what 99 percent of the time is a simple play.
Hollins felt Thaddeus Young should’ve gotten the ball and passed it right away to what appeared to be an open Joe Johnson in the corner. Young said the play that was drawn up wasn’t in the same spot as where he inbounded the ball -- at the half-court hashmark. He added that Nick Young was in the passing lane. The Nets had a timeout, but didn’t use it. Regardless, it was a complete and utter failure that resulted in a five-second violation.
Positives were hard to come by. Johnson, who came in shooting 28.3 percent from the field, scored 22 points. Brook Lopez added 23 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks, but somehow took only two shots in the fourth quarter; he’s taken just three fourth-quarter shots in the past two games.
Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (11 rebounds, three assists) made a big impact in his first career start, but he was only in the starting lineup because the front office told Hollins he needs to play more, according to sources.
No one said this season was going to be easy. But the trickle-down effect from the ill-fated blockbuster trades by general manager Billy King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov for Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce feels worse and worse by the day. The current roster has some decent pieces, but it is lacking in so many key areas -- most notably, point-guard play.
Hope is nowhere to be found. The Nets are one of three remaining teams without a win -- the 76ers and Pelicans are the others.
Seventy-six games remain.
Before this game, King said he wasn’t “discouraged” by his team’s slow start. Imagine what he would’ve said after this debacle.
Johnson said, “It’s not that bad here,” when asked about Williams taking a buyout on media day, but it most definitely is.
Sure, there’s plenty of time to turn things around, but with this team, it doesn’t seem possible.
“I mean, it’s tough,” Johnson said. “Nobody’s happy about it, but eventually we’re gonna snap out of it.”