Can a team build a winning culture while losing games? How long can Nets coach Kenny Atkinson keep giving maximum effort when the team keeps getting minimal returns? At what point do defeats stunt development? The Nets may soon find out. “Obviously, we’re all frustrated right now. It’s a tough time. This is a tough stretch we’re going through,” said Atkinson, whose Nets have lost six straight games, with just Wednesday’s home match against the Pacers left before the All-Star break. “I told the guys, ‘Let’s put our energy into getting one against Indiana. A good Indiana team, but we’re at home.’ It would be a good thing for our morale to get one before the All-Star break so we go in with some positive feelings.” One could hardly blame the Nets if their morale has taken a beating. They haven’t won in the month of February, and are tied for the second-longest current losing streak in the NBA. So far Atkinson has managed to keep his Nets playing the right way despite the losing, something Clippers coach Doc Rivers found amazing. “His team executes, they play hard, they play together. I don’t think people appreciate how hard that is when your team isn’t winning, to get guys to play together,” Rivers said Monday after his team beat the Nets at Barclays Center. “Most guys start looking at contracts, they get selfish and it’s all about numbers. Somehow Kenny has figured it out. They still play together and that’s pretty impressive.” But how long can a team — especially a young one trying “It’s definitely difficult right now,” Joe Harris said. “Nobody in here likes to lose, especially in the fashion that we have been here lately. … We’ve been digging ourselves holes, and you can’t beat teams in the NBA when you’re trying to overcome 20-point deficits.
The culture concerns Nets want to avoid as losses pile up
New York Post | Feb 15