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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Show more fight.
That was the message Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd said he conveyed to his team after their second consecutive 17-point loss Wednesday afternoon to the Chicago Bulls.
ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk reported Wednesday night that Kidd, frustrated following the team's fourth consecutive loss, called out his players in the locker room. Veteran Kevin Garnett stood up and vented his frustration as well, sources told Youngmisuk.
"That we've gotta fight. It wasn't to call them out. It was just a conversation in the locker room that we've got to compete," Kidd said Friday afternoon.
The Nets (9-19) host the Milwaukee Bucks (6-22), who have the NBA's worst record, Friday night at Barclays Center.
"No matter if we go down eight and there's 30 seconds on the clock or in the game, we've gotta believe that we can still find a way," Kidd said. "And right now we go down and we kind of give in to that fight, so we've gotta continue to keep grinding, and if I have to keep rotating guys until I find the ones that are gonna fight, then that's what I've gotta do."
Asked why his message wasn't getting through to the players, Kidd said, "New group. New voice. Again, understanding that's it's not gonna be easy. We'll see if the message got across."
Point guard Deron Williams said Kidd still had the support of the players.
"I think so," Williams said. "I think if we're losing some close games and he was making some bad decisions, that'd be one thing, but that's not the case. We got blown out. He can't make us outrebound teams. He can't make us put that little bit we need to get over the hump. That's on us as players to come out and play better."
Energy and effort, Williams said, continue to be the team's biggest problem.
Williams said Kidd has been emotional all season, "but maybe a little bit more last game."
"On offense, if you're going to screen, you gotta go down and do that hard," Williams said. "When you're coming off a screen, you've gotta come off hard. It's just effort. Defensively, we're playing solid defense, and then we don't get the defensive rebound [and] they get an extra possession. Those things, they add up."
"It's a normal reaction. That's how it should be," forward Mirza Teletovic said. "Everyone should be mad. I'm mad too. Everybody's disappointed, and everybody's trying to figure out what we need to do to win more games."
The Nets have an extremely difficult upcoming three-game road trip, which features games against the Indiana Pacers (23-5), San Antonio Spurs (23-7) and Oklahoma City Thunder (23-5). And the Nets likely will not have forward Andrei Kirilenko along for the ride.
Kirilenko, who has not played since Nov. 8 and has missed 24 games overall due to back spasms, will not play Friday night. He was hoping to return to the lineup for Saturday night's game against the Pacers. Now, it appears, he'll miss at least four more.
"As of right now, I don't think so," Kidd said when asked if Kirilenko would travel with the team. "Unless something changes in the next 24 hours, I don't think he goes."
Kidd said Kirilenko is still feeling some discomfort with his back.