Starting Five: Answering Kidd's challenge

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
6:00
AM ET
Jason Kidd is trying to push every button he can.

He called the team out through the media by saying the Nets have grown comfortable with losing after a 17-point loss to Indiana on Monday night. And then, multiple league sources said Kidd called the team out in the locker room after the Nets lost by 17 to the Bulls on Christmas Day.

[+] EnlargeJason Kidd
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsJason Kidd questioned the Nets' effort this week. Will Brooklyn answer the coach's challenge?
So what happens now? The Nets play the worst team in the NBA record-wise in the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at home. A Nets loss could feel catastrophic since they have lost four straight. A loss to the lowly Bucks at home, and the tension and frustration will only build.

The question is: How will the Nets respond to Kidd's postgame challenge/outburst? It's time to find out how much the Nets really care. Kevin Garnett is frustrated, but I don't think you have to worry about how much he cares.

It's when the opponent makes the inevitable run at them in the second or third quarter that you have to worry about. When the Nets start missing shots, they have to respond. They have to answer by putting forth effort on the defensive end and keep playing hard, even if shots aren't falling.

They have to show some heart.

On Friday night, it might not even matter since the Bucks only have six victories so far. But looking ahead, the Nets hit the road to play Indiana, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Things could get ugly.

In many ways, tonight's game is kind of a must-win with that road trip coming up and the fact that the Nets just need a win, bad.

Up now: Kidd calls out his players after loss to Bulls.

It's looking like there won't be any Nets voted into the All-Star game, but that's not surprise.

Mazzeo writes about the disappointment that is the Nets.

What's next: The 6-22 Bucks visit Barclays. It would appear this is perfect timing for the Nets.

Net fact: A Nets win over the Bucks tonight would be the first time the Nets have beaten a team twice this season. It would also be their fourth straight win over the Bucks overall.

Net question: Which Net player do you believe needs to respond the most to Kidd's challenge?
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8