Jason Kidd's assessment that his team is "getting very close to just accepting losing" didn't sit well with some Nets veterans.
Kidd made the comments following Monday night's 103-86 loss to the Pacers at Barclays Center. But as the slip-sliding Nets prepare to face the equally disappointing Bulls on Christmas Day, Kevin Garnett challenged Kidd's view
"I wouldn't agree with it," Garnett said Tuesday. "Personally, I'm in control of myself and I'll never step on the floor and will never accept anything less (than 100 percent). I'm not built like that nor do I think my teammates are built like that. We're going through a tough time and that's his assessment but I don't think that's true."
Kidd said he has not addressed the team about his comments from Monday night.
"We have to get ready for Chicago," Kidd said. "So we had our walk-through, and it's a noon game (Wednesday), so we have to turn the page and get ready for Chicago."
The Nets have lost three games in a row and four of their last five. They also lost center Brook Lopez for the rest of the season with a broken foot, meaning the Nets will have to try to right the ship without their best scorer in the post.
"I don't think we know or understand what kind of team we are offensively or defensively," Joe Johnson said. "It's hurt us in a lot of games. We've lost a lot of close games and it's definitely hurt us. I don't know when or how we're going to figure it out but we have to."
Kidd said he hoped the Nets could find that identity and "play hard and play for one another and have fun doing that."
Garnett said he knows the team needs to respond to Kidd's challenge with a better effort -- but there's a big obstacle.
"I don't think we have an identity; I don't know what we are," Garnett said. "There's been a lot of moving parts this year and all of us can sort of look at it and use it as an excuse but I like to know that I'm not an excuse kind of guy. We're trying to figure it out but I don't think we have an identity."
Kirilenko could be back soon
Andrei Kirilenko was on the court practicing and seemed to be going at full speed. Kidd was unsure whether the 12-year vet, who has suffered back spasms, would be able to play Wednesday against Chicago.
"That's something we'll see after he goes through a little workout and we'll see how he feels tomorrow," Kidd said.
Kirilenko said he wants to get back on the court and help with defense.
"I feel great but I have to talk to the trainer and see how it goes," he said. "I will insist and insist, but he's the guy who will decide."
What does Kirilenko feel he can do to help turn the struggling Nets around?
"I need to get healthy because it's impossible to change anything until you get in a rhythm," he said. "You know what I can bring; I've been playing too long in the league. I will definitely hustle and get to those hard places and get some energy defensively. That's always been my game -- trying to be everywhere and help out and not just guarding my man."
Paul Pierce has been fined $15,000 for "making excessive and unnecessary contact" with George Hill of the Pacers.