Nets weary from long 4-3 trip, but not complaining

Nets' Deron Williams, right, has his shot blocked Nets' Deron Williams, right, has his shot blocked by the Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward during the first half. (March 30, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Seven cities. Four time zones.

Eight flights. Roughly 6,473 nautical miles.

That can only mean one thing.

"You're looking forward to getting home," Gerald Wallace said after the Nets' 116-107 loss to the Jazz on Saturday night, "and getting in your own bed and resting."

When the Nets first hit the road, knowing they were going to be gone for 13 days as they went on their cross-country, seven-city trek, they probably would have gladly accepted a 4-3 mark. But there was so much more potential after they got off to that impressive start, taking four of their first five contests -- two of those victories coming without Joe Johnson's services -- only to see things fall apart a bit in their final two stops in Denver and Utah.

Call it a mixed bag.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I liked where we were for most of this trip," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "To me, you are going up a hill. You can go up and you can go down. We were going up pretty steadily for a while, but we took a couple of steps back the last two nights. I don't think we fell off to where we were before the trip started. But we took a couple of steps back from where we were."

By dropping their last two games, coupled with the Knicks' hot streak, the Nets' chances of winning the Atlantic Division have greatly diminished. Given that things are so jumbled up in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, they know what's at stake over these next two weeks as the regular season winds down for their final nine games.

Currently fourth in the conference standings, the Nets are not even guaranteed home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs yet.

"Yeah, we've got to win. We've got to win out," Deron Williams said. "I think that's how we've got to think. It might not happen, but it could happen. We get hot at the right time and get going. It will be good to get home for these next couple of days and rest, and get right back at it. We've got to go right back on the road [to Cleveland Wednesday]."

At least this time, a simple overnight bag will suffice.

"I kind of look at it as a 50-50 trip," Wallace said. "We could have done better. We could have finished this road trip off a lot better, but seven games in two weeks and you come out with an over-.500 record, you know you can't complain about that."

You also may be interested in: