Kenny Atkinson’s message was adamantly clear when discussing the Brooklyn Nets’ effort against the shorthanded Timberwolves.
“Just an unacceptable performance by us,” Atkinson said via SNY. “We were lucky to get to overtime, to be honest. Even at halftime, I thought that. We’re just not playing at a high level. We’re not playing up to Nets standards and it’s hard to figure out why.”
The defeat marked the third-straight addition to the loss column, with the Nets now sitting at 16-16, and a tough schedule looming in the opening weeks of the new calendar year.
The starters for Brooklyn shot just 28-for-80 (35.0%) from the field. Likewise, no starter was positive in terms of plus-minus, alluding to the head coach stating that the Nets were “lucky” to even see an overtime period.
Without the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, this contest appeared very winnable for even a shorthanded Nets squad. However, as we know, there are no nights off in the NBA. Brooklyn’s lackluster performance on both ends of the floor spelled their own doom.
With a contest slated in Dallas against a premier Mavericks squad on Thursday, the Nets have to come out with the same intensity that turned their season around after Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert went down with injuries.
As Kenny Atkinson noted, “These are the times where you really reflect on who you want to be as a team. But right now, we’ve had slippage. We’re not where we want to be and there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
With 10 of their next 11 contests against playoff teams, let’s hope they regain their identity sooner than later.