Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Coal in (Brooklyn Nets) stockings

This appears on

Coal in (Brooklyn Nets) stockings
by rick olivares

Even well before the end of a 95-78 stuffing at the hands of a depleted Chicago Bulls team on Christmas Day, the Brooklyn Nets were serenaded not with Christmas Carols but with boos and calls for the ouster of their head coach, Jason Kidd.

The Nets hoped to compete with the Eastern Conference’s top teams by bringing some of the key Boston Celtics of recent years in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry as well as former Utah Jazz star, Andrei Kirilenko.

Instead of compete with the New York Knicks to be the top dog in the Big Apple, they are trying to stay afloat just like the tenants of Madison Square Garden.

Both the Nets and the Knicks are at a woeful 9-19 although the former has a 5-9 at home while the latter is 4-11.

It must be even more galling for the Barclays Center faithful that the other co-tenant of the swankiest and newest arena in America – the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League – are also wallowing at the near bottom of the standings with a 11-20 record (5-7-7 record at home).

Now that is depressing when one of the NHL’s worst franchises in the last three decades has a 2-1 record heading into December 25. The Nets on the other hand are in the midst of a four-match that Santa’s list is only confined to who’s been naughty or nice but who has also been bad.

One other galling similarity with its fellow New York teams is that Brooklyn has the highest payroll in the NBA this season. And they have nothing to show for that this season even if it is far from done. The Yankees of have had perennially the highest payroll in baseball. But they have gotten the job done with five World Series titles in the last 17 years (to go with a bunch of division titles). The Knicks… man, the Knicks… as a New Yorker, it crushes me to see my teams taking a beating.

What hurts even more is that television show “2 Broke Girls” (starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs) started off well, saw its ratings plummet then rebound nicely with a simple change in schedule.

Were it that simple with the Brooklyn Nets!

You would have thought that the addition of all these big name players would have given Brooklyn a lot of firepower and big game moxie. Instead, they’re 21st in the league in points scored (96.9)! They are 18th in the league in field goal percentage shooting .444.

Even something like “cupgate” where Kidd instructed Tyshawn Taylor to “hit me” in order to delay the game and to map out a final play was botched.

Oh and that reminds me! Brooklyn lost the day before Thanksgiving and now they were handed another defeat on Christmas. Holidays simply do not go hand in hand with these Nets.

And they are  28th overall in rebounds (40.4), 21st in assists per game with 20.5, and 23rd overall in points allowed with 102.3.

A few weeks back, Kidd dumped assistant Lawrence Frank for their repeated clashes. It was reported that Kidd said with finality that he is the coach of the Brooklyn Nets and with that, it is pretty obvious that the buck stops with him (is that a bad pun because Milwaukee is their next opponent).

The Nets got off to a bad start with Kidd’s DUI (driving under the influence) charge and they haven’t been right all season. Amidst further charges of Kidd’s coaching chops, chemistry issues, and mounting injuries, how can Brooklyn right their ship?

They are at a point where nothing is working. Brook Lopez, perhaps the team’s one shinning spot all season long (when he suited up) is out for the season with a broken foot.

While it gives the younger players like Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee a chance to show what they can do, by no means will this team declare the season over.

They’ve got too much veteran pride to do so. Furthermore, team owner Mikhail Prokhorov did not invest a lot of money only to throw it away. In the horrible landscape that is the Eastern Conference where only three teams sport a winning record, only a few games separate the bottom feeders from teams four to eight in the playoff race.

It is a bad time to learn on the job for Kidd. Not only is his team in a bad spot but also so is he. And now the pressure has magnified because of the losing. Team management already put in a team that could supposedly compete, Lopez or no Lopez. Adding another player or two could or could not help. Maybe it’s time to add another voice on that bench to help Kidd. Just because it wasn’t Frank it doesn’t mean adding another assistant won’t work. Someone with a lot of experience and someone who knows how to help get a team to win.

The moment this team was put together, the first thing they should have done is check their egos at the door. They need to do that more than ever.

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