Richard Jefferson is optimistic and remains so despite all of the Nets' troubles.
In the immortal words of former Indianapolis Colts' coach Jim Mora: "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game."
The Nets were embarrassed by the Rockets on Monday, losing for the sixth straight time and ending this awful trip a demoralizing 0-5.
They missed 38-of-47 shots to start the game. They were down by 27 points in the third period and were the Rockets' 19th straight victim.
You're going to have games like that, but you would like to see a little more effort from a team that keeps saying they're playoff material. Competition aside, the last three games of the trip, against New Orleans, Dallas and Houston, were hardly competitive. Everyone is to blame for that from the coach on down.
Shooting has been a problem all season. The Nets need to go to the basket more, but when they did they either had their shot blocked by Dikembe Mutombo, lost the ball or missed the layup. But their overall effort and resilience remain concerns.
They return from this 0-5 trip to face the Cavaliers. With a loss will be 13 games under .500 for the first time since the 2000-01 season. This was pre-Jason Kidd, of course. Post-Kidd doesn't look too promising.
The post-Kidd Nets are 3-8 and four losses away from their first losing season since pre-Kidd, yet just one-half game out of the playoffs.
"We have all the opportunities in the world," Vince Carter said. "As bad as we played this week, we're still right in the picture. But we still have to win."