WASHINGTON — The Nets’ 8-24 record is tied for the worst in the NBA, but they are a respectable 7-8 at home.
Road warriors they are not, however, and their 1-16 record on foreign courts — courtesy of a 118-95 loss to the Wizards on Friday night at Verizon Center — has been the source of their misery. Don’t think Kenny Atkinson and his assistants haven’t asked themselves why.
“We’ve addressed it,” Atkinson said before the game. “We’ve played some close games on the road. We lost at the buzzer in Milwaukee, we were right there in Houston and in Philly. It’s like, ‘Can we start closing these games out?’ All of us are gaining experience, and we’re starting to see who we want to play at the end of the game. We’ve been in some close games, but it’s an issue.
“I asked guys [assistant coaches] why we have so much energy at home, and then on the road, it seems like we waver. When it’s like that, you look at every aspect of your program. Right now, we’re searching . . . Just having a stable lineup out there that we can rely on will help. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Atkinson high on LeVert
Nets rookie Caris LeVert gradually is working his way into a bigger role. He had 12 points in 24 minutes against Washington after playing at least 20 minutes in two of the Nets’ previous three games, including key fourth-quarter minutes in a two-point loss Wednesday night in Chicago.
“When I look down the road with him, I see an athletic, agile, versatile defender,” Atkinson said. “That gives me a lot of hope for him. I just love on the defensive end the energy he gives. We’re not afraid to throw him on anybody. You could see him defending different positions, and I could see a bigger role for him as the season goes on.”