EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - For most of their lives, they've been the best players on their teams. Now the Nets have five All-Star-caliber starters who are struggling to find out how to play with one another. That may go a long way toward explaining how they could lose by 21 points to the Magic two days after beating the two-time defending champion Heat.
"Everyone on this team has been the man on some team," Nets coach Jason Kidd said Monday. "So now, it's going to be where can I lead instead? If it's not points, assists or rebounds, is it steals? Contesting shots? That's all the game they're learning.
"This is a new group from coaches to players. The more time we spend together, that trust will build because you're going to have mistakes. Trust can be lost very easily, but through a tough loss or a big win, you can gain that trust."
Shooting guard Joe Johnson admitted they are all going through an adjustment period.
"We're still figuring it out. That's why I think we have so many turnovers," Johnson said. "At times, you have guys trying to be too unselfish and it leads to turnovers. We have to find the happy medium to where at times you can be aggressive. We just need to come out ready."
Kevin Garnett seems to be struggling to find his role after failing to reach double figures in his first three games with the Nets. After the Orlando loss Sunday, Garnett publicly questioned his role, and his funk apparently continued on the way home.
Said Andray Blatche: "He was upset, all the way from the bus to the plane. He was really upset, so we just gave him his space so he could cool off. He said his piece and we took it in."
Notes & quotes:Brook Lopez and Blatche sat out practice after suffering sprained ankles Sunday night. Both are probable for tonight's game against the Jazz . . . Point guard Deron Williams is showing the effects of playing only 10 minutes during the preseason while nursing a sprained ankle. Williams has yet to score in double figures and is shooting 36 percent from the field. Said Kidd: "This is like his preseason, his training camp. I think he's been out there doing a very good job for us with not as much time as everyone has had on the court."