Fact is, last year's loss to the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Cavaliers was the beginning of the end. If three straight losses to the Knicks within a half year (for crying out loud man, the damn season hasn't even hit the All-Star Break and the Knicks have taken the season series!!!) doesn't tell the tale, nothing will. Right now, the East figures to break down to the Celts and Pistons in a retro throwback to the 80s when these two going at each other was as regular as Flair and Rhodes going at each other for the NWA World Title. I came into this year with a ton of hopes for the Nets and sadly, I'm left eating a whole heapful of Humble Pie. I've already theorized that VC has to go, because simply put, he hasn't brought anything to the table since he arrived. Unfortunately, the sad yet painful truth is that thanks to ownership paying him way too much for doing oh so little, he's virtually unmovable. The only other movable pieces are virtually impossible to get rid of, because doing so hinders the progress that the youngsters can make from sitting under the learning tree. (And by this, I'm talking about J-Kidd who is NOT the problem.) I guess in a way, this is reminding me of how grateful I should've been when the Nets ran the East six years ago. Honestly, at this point, I'd trade VC straight up for a Kittles-ish type of 2 guard because at least I'd know then that they'd be competitive. The Nets right now are repugnant enough to make the T-Wolves look like they never lost KG (as evident by the fact that Al Jefferson got his rocks off and they beat the Nuts in Minny). I'm all but expecting the hatchet to come down on top of Frank's skull if this decline continues and right now, I'm not thinking of any reason why it won't. VC's playing like a glorified fat cat who's got his money and could care less about doing what's necessary to ensure the team wins. In a conference where there's a ton of room for folks to get into the playoffs (unlike the West where the margin of error is flosslike thin), the Nets are speedwalking in reverse on ice skates downhill. It saddens me that before they leave the state of New Jersey, this figures to be a team that travels back to the mid 90s post-Drazen Petrovic's death when this team was a moribund bunch. At this clip, I'm banking on the Knicks being more of a playoff threat than the Nets will in terms of returning to playoff prominence. I like the young nucleus that's in place with Boone, S1-W (Sean Williams), Marcus as the point and RJ holding it down as 'Da Man'. With a healthy Krstic, this is a good group. But right now, this unit's making the Knicks look good. Oh wait, they've already done that three times this year. Never mind.
So how do the Nets get better? Dealing Kidd doesn't work, because doing so all but sells this team down the river in a hurry. I don't think Marcus is ready to shoulder the load of this offense right now and you don't want the future to become the present too soon. RJ's virtually untouchable one has to assume and even though it's the longest of long shots in a sport where GMs are petrified of big contracts (unless you're Isiah Moronas, then it's kibbles and bits), VC is not moving. I said all along that VC's the cancer that must be cut out of the picture and I'm sticking to it. Period, end of story. Yet, as if one needed another reason to stand pat even with their repugnant record, consider this...
They're presently in the 8th spot in the Least. That's right, if the season stopped today, the Nuts would be in the playoffs. So with about a week before the deadilne, I think with about 90% certainty, the Nuts do zip. They won't move Kidd, even if he's a manifesto and goatee away from having a legitimate shootaround at the Nets' facility. They can and probably will make the playoffs given the mediocrity that has befallen the once mighty Eastern Conference.