NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Nets suffered a devastating loss to the lowly Timberwolves on Monday night, blowing a 22-point lead amid a fourth-quarter meltdown.
Brooklyn, which was outscored 32-10 in the fourth quarter, fell to 1-1 after topping the Raptors this past weekend in the first regular-season game in Barclays Center history.
Boos filled the newly-christened arena for the first time, as the Nets — a franchise historically known for its losing ways — seemed reminiscent of their old New Jersey selves.
And the Nets know that they can’t fall into the same old trap of losing. After only winning 22, 24 and 12 games the last three seasons, respectively, the players are aware that they must stay strong and avoid bad habits.
“It might have gotten to be something that, I don’t want to say we got used to it, but it happened a lot,” center Brook Lopez told the New York Daily News in regard to constant losing. “But this team is different. You can see it in the reactions of the guys in here already. This team will respond.”
With the defending-champion Heat on tap for Wednesday, Brooklyn knows that it faces a daunting task in holding down LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“You definitely have to have somebody to try and slow down guys like that; it’s impossible to stop them,” point guard Deron Williams said of facing James. “You got to try and slow them down and make them work at both ends of the floor so they tire out a little bit. That’s all you can do against guys like that.”
The Nets were without small forward Gerald Wallace — who sprained his left ankle in the season opener — against Minnesota. He wore a boot on Monday night and is currently on the road with the team, but his status for Wednesday’s game remains uncertain.
Regardless of Wallace’s status and the Nets’ knack for starting seasons slow, Williams knows that the solution is always hard work, practice and dedication.
“We just gotta have a good practice and watch film — film doesn’t lie — so we can see where we made our mistakes and how we get better, and come out with a better 48-minute effort against Miami,” Williams said. “It’s still early. Every team has one, two or three of these a year. I guess it’s good we got it out of the way.”
How do you predict the Nets will respond against the Heat? Will they pull a Knicks and surprise the basketball world, or are they in for a long night? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…