It's hard to imagine that Celts fans aren't enjoying another slow start for Lawrence Frank's Nets. The fact that of their six losses in seven games, two have come to the Knicks, one came at home to the Clips, and last night the Nets fell to the Sacramento Kings sans Kevin Martin in the Swamp.
The odd part of this? Though they turned the ball over six more times than the Kings did, the Nets took nearly just as many shots, shooting the ball 77 times from the field and 26 times from the foul line to the Kings' 77 and 28. New Jersey shot an excellent 50.7 percent from the field (to Sacto's 45.5) and went an excellent plus-14 in rebounding differential. And they still lost.
There would be one major reason for this. The Nets can't defend the three-point line. Already last in the league with 39 percent shooting allowed from downtown, the Nets got absolutely torched by the Kings from deep last night. Beno Udrih went 0-for-2 from deep. Four other Kings shot from that range. Their numbers: 2-for-3 (John Salmons), 4-for-5 (Ron Artest), 2-for-3 (Brad Miller), 5-for-8 (Fran Garcia). All told, the Kings went 13-for-21 (61.9 percent) from beyond the arc en route to their 106-101 win.
The Nets aren't going to shoot 50 percent from the field every night. They aren't going to be plus-14 in rebounding every night. But given their current ranking in three-point defense, while 61 percent allowed might not be the norm, getting hammered from the outside could be quite a regular thing for the Nets this season. And if it continues to happen on all those other nights when the Nets don't have everything else going for them, the boys from the Swamp could be in for a lot of trouble.