TODAY'S PAPER
66° Good Morning
66° Good Morning
SportsBasketballNets

Nets still lack an identity and need to click as a team

Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets looks on

Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets looks on late in the third overtime against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Further proof wasn't necessary, not with the overwhelming evidence that's been collected in this roller-coaster month.

It's not as if there weren't enough examples to cite throughout the Nets' underwhelming start, but barely sliding past a team that might challenge the NBA's all-time worst single-season record was the latest proof.

Winners of only two of their last eight games, with both victories coming in less than impressive fashion, the 6-8 Nets remain a work in progress. Still lacking an identity and any kind of consistency, they have a lot of ground to cover before becoming the team they aspire to be.

"Pretty far off as a whole,'' Deron Williams said after Wednesday night's 99-91 victory over the 76ers (0-15). "I think we show flashes of what we want to do and where we want to be, but we still haven't sustained that for a full game to where you have guys hitting on all cylinders.

"We're still trying to figure it out where we get everybody going and have one of those nights where everybody is clicking for the entire game. We want to do that eventually.''

Williams insists he's seeing signs and contends there are no fears of a repeat of last season, when the Nets started 10-21. But the five teams the Nets have beaten -- they knocked off the injury-ravaged Thunder twice -- are 17-61 combined.

"You are worried about it. It's not so nonchalant,'' Kevin Garnett said of the team's unsteady play. "But the mentality is to not get bored with the process. I can't even believe I'm repeating that because Doc Rivers used to always stress that to me and I'm seeing the fruits of that . . . It's chemistry. It's the process of which you are trying to build a foundation on something. It's not going to work the first two weeks.''

There's no wonder tonic, he stressed. It's a part of the natural grind that accompanies melding a team together.

"Trying to perfect something takes practice and repetition,'' Garnett said, "and continuously going over it and over it until you just, [like] when you are going to sleep, you are dreaming it, you're seeing it . . .

"When you are young, you don't really grasp it . . . So I'm just trying to [get that across] to everybody in here and be a positive role through the whole transition of all this coming together, and continuing to be positive, and continue to work on what we are trying to be.''

New York Sports