Nets Go Quiet Down Stretch, Remain So After the Game

The Nets hide from the media after a 76-72 loss to Grizzlies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Trimming his hair hasn't worked out for Lopez thus far.

    After a bad Nets loss last month, Gerald Wallace fumed that the team was playing "typical Nets basketball" to earn the defeat. 

    We would have loved to hear what Wallace had to say after Sunday night's 76-72 loss. Or any Net other than Deron Williams and Reggie Evans, for that matter. 

    The Nets refused to meet the media after their loss to the Grizzlies, something general manager Billy King claimed was to keep players from drawing fines for slamming officials after a late Deron Williams drive didn't result in a foul call. If true, it sends a pretty awful message on a couple of different fronts. 

    Front one is the one that says it is okay from adults to not be able to express themselves in measured tones about what they believe to be an incorrect call. Williams was able to say he thought it should have been a foul without being insulting or dismissive of normal human niceties. 

    Front two is the alternate universe that posits that one call had more to do with the Nets loss than eight missed free throws, 18 turnovers or 37.7 percent shooting on a night when Williams was pretty much the only guy to play well. It's a pretty bad sign when the general manager of a team tells his team that it's okay to just blame the refs instead of looking in the mirror in the wake of a loss when the Grizzlies scored the final nine points of the game. 

    Looking in the mirror might be problematic for some on the team right now. For the third time in the last four games, Brook Lopez turned in a stinker of large enough proportions that P.J. Carlesimo lashed him to the bench for the entire fourth quarter. 

    Carlesimo's always said that the decision is based on how well Andray Blatche is playing, but it was a stretch on Sunday. Blatche had a few good minutes in the early fourth, but he was a non-factor after that while Lopez sat and stewed on the bench. 

    After the game, Carlesimo was allowed to speak to the media and said that he was concerned about Lopez's confidence level after a third benching in four nights. Confidence, competence and a few other things would seem to be a concern given how wrong things have gone for Lopez in the week since his All-Star debut. 

    Wallace also didn't play in the fourth quarter on Sunday, making it hard to believe that the team-supported media blackout was just about one non-call on Williams. When two of your starters (and your one All-Star) can't see the court on a night when Joe Johnson doesn't play, it leads to some difficult questions and one imagines that the responses to those queries were really what troubled King and company on Sunday night. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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