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(November 20, 2013)
CHARLOTTE—Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over against and expecting different results.
Which brings us to the Brooklyn Nets, which suffered a 95-91 loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte Wednesday night. It was the third straight loss and the sixth in seven games.
And it had all the trademarks of a Nets (3-8) loss.
Once again they treated the third quarter as an optional period, getting outscored 30-20 and falling into a 16-point hole.
Once again a smallish, young, quick guard torched the Nets. This time it was Bronx native Kemba Walker who scored a game-high 31 points, the most by an opposing player against the Nets this season.
Once again the Nets played decent defense, holding Charlotte to 44.4 percent shooting. But the Bobcats grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.
Once again, despite making defending the paint the No.1 defensive priority, the Bobcats didn’t have to pay a toll to get in the lane. They outscored the Nets, 52-34, in the paint.
What makes this loss particularly disconcerting is that it was the first game since Monday night’s home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Nets players held a lengthy talk in the locker room following the game.
But there was no follow through on the talk.
Kevin Garnett, who said on Tuesday that this team would turn it around or die trying, was limited to four points and 21 minutes because of foul trouble.
The Nets, playing without starting center Brook Lopez (sprained left ankle), played more zone defense than we’ve seen this season. There were some obvious communication breakdowns that led to easy buckets.
Andray Blatche led the Nets with 25 points, the most he’s scored in a Brooklyn jersey. Joe Johnson added 19 and Alan Anderson had 16.
And what has become and all-to-painfully common sight for Nets’ fans, another starter went down with an injury.
Point guard Deron Williams, who sprained his left ankle in the win at Phoenix and didn’t play against Portland, re-injured the ankle and left the game.
Without Lopez, the Nets used yet another starting lineup, their fourth in four games. Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) didn’t play for the sixth straight game.
The injuries have certainly slowed the development of this team but that would be an excuse. The Nets are losing because they are not matching their opponent’s effort, which is what rebounding and points in the paint are all about.
If the Nets don’t step that up, it would be crazy to think, even healthy, they will win these games.