NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets are looking at an estimated $190 million payroll when it's all said and done.
And as much heat as Nets coach Jason Kidd and general manager Billy King are going to take for where this team is, let's look at a few of their players who haven't played up to expectations:
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce: These two were supposed to change the culture, bring leadership, give this team an identity it didn't have. They haven't. Garnett and Pierce have looked every bit of their age. Father Time is undefeated and these two are no exception. Still, much more was expected. After all, they were replacing Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and essentially Reggie Evans, who gave the Nets basically no production last season.
Garnett is averaging 6.7 points and 7.1 rebounds on 37.2 percent shooting. He was supposed to anchor a much-improved defense, but the Nets rank 27th in defensive efficiency. Pierce has struggled to find his way and is currently coming off the bench after breaking his hand. He is averaging 12.3 points on 39.2 percent shooting and has looked uncomfortable lately on offense. Garnett and Pierce have always been the No. 1 options on their teams. Now, they're not.
The way things are going, you have to wonder if either will be back next season.
Deron Williams: Williams looked as though he was finally over the ankle injuries that plagued him earlier in the season. But in the last four games -- all losses -- he hasn't been nearly as effective, averaging 14.8 points, 9.8 assists and 4.0 turnovers on 43.2 percent shooting. The Nets got off to a bad start because the head of their snake wasn't healthy. Then it appeared they turned things around before they began to regress. With Brook Lopez gone for the season, it's up to Williams to carry this team. He has to. He needs to be $98 million good. At times, he has been. At other times, he's shown poor body language and sulked after errors by his teammates. The Nets need consistency out of Williams, period. Williams knocked knees in Wednesday's game, but says he's OK.
Question: What do you think of the way Garnett, Pierce and Williams have played?
Stat bad, huh? The Nets gave up seven layups in the third quarter Wednesday -- 15 in the game.
Up next: The Nets are off Thursday.