Deron-Williams-December-2013It wasn’t the start to the season the Brooklyn Nets were expecting.

Not when the payroll is set at $189 million.

The 5-12 Nets head into December looking to crawl out from the hole they dug for themselves. It’s going to take consistency, improved effort and accountability.

This team is also going to need improved health. Injuries to Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Andrei Kirilenko have slowed down any chance of the Nets developing any consistency with a new roster. It’s made the job that much harder for Jason Kidd as the head coach.

Kidd has never been a head coach before, and he’s getting to see just how steep the learning curve really is. There is definitely enough talent and veteran leadership on this team to makeup for Kidd’s lack of coaching experience, but the talent has to step up.

I’d like to see the Nets continue to feature Brook Lopez more on offense. Joe Johnson is going to have to give them more of what he did this past Saturday night with 26 points against the Memphis Grizzlies. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are here for leadership and the playoffs, and anything else Brooklyn gets from them during the regular season is a plus.

We can talk all day about Kidd’s coaching skills, the contributions of Lopez and Johnson and how much Pierce and Garnett have left in the tank; but the focus deservedly has to shift towards Deron Williams.

Williams has been unable to shake loose of the injury bug. His latest injury is a sprained left ankle, according to Newsday. The bottom line is the Nets are paying Williams franchise player-type money, and they need him on the court playing at the All-Star level everyone expects of him.

Williams will be the glue that makes all of this work for Brooklyn and ultimately determines how far they go this season.

It would be easy for this city to bash the Nets now for their struggles — they have been just as bad as the Knicks this season. However, in a weak division and arguably a weak conference, this team still has time to turn it around and get rolling.


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