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Brooklyn Nets Drop Third Straight Game to Lottery Bound Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Deron Williams exits game for good in second quarter Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Deron Williams exits game for good in second quarter

Deron Williams Re-Aggravates Sore Left Side and Exits Game

In their last ten games, the Brooklyn Nets are 6-4.

It's better than average, good for most teams right?

Well if you don't count the last two consecutive losses to the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks (both heart-breakers), then you're probably comfortable with the Nets progress thus far this season.

Sooner or later the Nets are going to have to decide what team they are going to be for the remainder of this season.

Can they catapult themselves towards the hierarchy of the Eastern Conference? Or will they mirror the team they once were during the 2012-13 season that enjoyed a short trip to the playoffs, eventually sent home in the first round in seven by the Chicago Bulls.

One game/win does not define a season, but the New York Knicks are in rebuild mode and the Nets are the city's only hope as far as competitive basketball is concerned.

With the precipitation featuring snow recently, the Brooklyn Nets have allowed the unfavorable weather beyond the comforts of the Barclays Center to affect their game, and it showed tonight hosting the Boston Celtics.

With the exception of the first quarter, the Nets struggled offensively for the rest of the game and fell to the lottery-bound Celtics, 89-81, their third straight loss.

The Nets are now three games under .500 at (16-19) while the Celtics improved to (12-21).

It just wasn't their night.

Expending a month's worth of energy in Monday's overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks, 96-88 could have something to do with it, as well as, completing a 10-game stretch which included three back-to-backs.

"The energy was low and I was fearful of that coming in," said Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins during his post-game press-conference.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins speaking with the media in a postgame press conferenence.

"We just played back-to-backs and one of them was overtime, and now we go back to another back-to-back, so we have a back-to-back, a day off, game, a day off and a back-to-back."

Hollins also expressed that the current schedule along with Deron Williams and his injury status (re-aggravating his sore left side in the second quarter against the Celtics), has forced Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson to play more minutes than he would have liked.

In the Dallas overtime loss, Jack logged in 44 minutes and Johnson logged in 45.

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Brooklyn Nets point guard Jarrett Jack

Tonight, Jack logged in 39 minutes producing 15 points and four assists while Johnson contributed 17 points in 37 minutes.

Despite the Nets boasting four players in double figures, including Mason Plumlee who recorded his 7th double-double of the season with 16-12, as a whole, the home-team struggled on the offensive end the entire night as the Celtics out-scored the Nets in every quarter besides the first quarter (2nd: 21-14, 3rd: 29-23, 4th: 20-19).

Oh there's more.

The Nets shot 40.5% from the field, shooting 21.4% from behind the arc and 69.2% from the charity strike.

"When you are consistently at 39%, it's going to be a struggle to score every game," Hollins told the media post-game.

It gets worse!

The Nets committed 17 turnovers opposed to the Celtics 6.

As poor as the Nets offense was, they did compete on defense, but their efforts just weren't enough for a team who was younger and sported fresher legs.

And about those fresher legs, Celtics guard Avery Bradley showed off.

With the departure of Rajon Rondo, Bradley took advantage, torching the Nets for 21 points, shooting 3-5 from three-point range.

Tyler Zeller played sidekick to Bradley's exploits, as the Celtics second leading scorer with 18 points of his own, oh and another thing: every player who checked in for the Celtics recorded points.

The Celtics bench outscored the Nets bench, 34-18.

At the end of the day, it comes down to making shots and the Nets were unable to keep up with the hungrier and younger team.

They looked fatigued and un-enthusiastic.

Tonight, the Nets played with what the Knicks are made of which is just plain old bad.

In his post-game press-conference, Hollins, combated the negatives with his own observations of where his team is now opposed to where they were in the beginning of the year.

"We are playing much better," Hollins expressed.

"We've made progress, were moving forward, I think our culture is better, our togetherness is better, our defense is certainly better, we just have to figure out a way to make shots throughout the course of the game."

It seems like the Nets most recent struggles on the court stems back to the root of what their foundation as an organization is built on: The Big Three.

With the exception of Johnson, Williams and Brook Lopez have missed significant time on the court this season and their absence from this team as leaders, with their presence, continues to take its toll on the Nets, in the present and immediate future.

How long can Johnson and Jack continue to play excessive minutes without suffering injuries or just overall fatigue.

Their games will suffer which will eventually compel the remaining roster of the Nets to carry their load as starters, which isn't their role.

Jack was brought here to provide a formidable guard option off the bench along with Alan Anderson, and due to Williams injuries, his role has increased.

The Nets have to make a decision with their $99 million dollar-man in D-Will.

To trade or not to trade?

Williams re-injuring his sore left side during the second quarter of tonight's game does not help the possibilities of trading the former star at all.

As for the able bodies, Johnson and the crew are looking for the formula to solve their answers.

"I think we've had a few different lineups-us as players, trying to still learn and fine tune it for one another, so this team needs a little more time than we expected," Johnson said post-game.

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Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Shooting Guard

"We just got to keep working hard, keep trusting one another and keep believing in one another."

The positive similarities in Johnson's and Hollins' post-game quotes regarding team chemistry are encouraging but losses like tonight are exactly what can disrupt that chemistry.

The Nets have to take care of their home-court and beat the teams that are inferior.

This weekend, the Nets will participate in another back-to-back. They play Philadelphia at home on the 9th and then will travel to play the streaking Detroit Pistons on the 10th, who are a perfect 6-0 since waiving Josh Smith.

The Nets need to win those two games.

Following Philly and Detroit, the Nets schedule features a ten-game stretch where they will face the likes of the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies (home-home), and the Washington Wizards (back-to-back; and away-home). The Nets then do a west coast swing to play the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers (back-to-back), and Utah Jazz. They come home to play the Portland Trailblazers (Monday, Jan. 26), then back out to play the Atlanta Hawks (Wednesday, Jan. 28) and back home on Friday, January 30 to face the Toronto Raptors.

It can get very ugly.

But that's why it's Wednesday, were not there yet.