No one can explain it, but the Nets had better find the answers quickly, or else they can really kiss away their playoff aspirations.
Monday night's 110-91 loss to the Celtics dropped the Nets to 12-20 at Barclays Center this season. Given that they finish their season by playing all but four of their final 13 games in Brooklyn, no improvement at home likely equates to no postseason.
"I'm disappointed that we haven't won more at home," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We've got a chance here starting after we go on this trip. I think we have [nine] more home games and see what we can do. Each game is different. It's unfortunate that we don't. There are a lot of theories. I have my own theory, but I'm not sharing. Hopefully, we can turn it around."
Brook Lopez is just as befuddled. "It's bizarre," Lopez said. "It's the way it is right now."
Shuffling the deck
Hollins went with the Deron Williams-Jarrett Jack tandem at guard for the first time in three games, putting the two on the court together for 7:12 in the fourth quarter. The Nets were outscored by five points during that span. Hollins didn't use that combination in the previous two games, pointing to the spark Bojan Bogdanovic has provided. The duo's team-worst plus-minus ratio of -9.2 doesn't help their cause much.
"Well, if Bogey is playing like he's playing, why would I keep him on the bench is the question I would ask you," Hollins said. "Bogey has played so well, it's not enough time to put both of those guys out there together. I moved Joe [Johnson] back to three, I like having Markel [Brown] start to get some experienced minutes. If you play well, you deserve to play, and there's only so many minutes."
Hollins fine with format
Although most of them have winning percentages below .450 and one (the Nets) is 11 games below .500, six teams are in the chase for the final three playoff spots in the East. It's given more fodder to those who think the NBA should alter its playoff format -- such as by putting the league's top 16 teams in the postseason regardless of conference.
Hollins said he's "amazed that anybody wants to change the rules" and believes they should stay the same rather than catering to the West. "I've certainly been there," he said. "I've not made the playoffs and had better records than two or three of the bottom teams in the East. But hey, that's life. Have a better record in the West."
"That's what this business is all about. It's not just giving one side of the league an advantage. What happens when it flips back over? All those coaches would be wanting those rules to be changed again."