By Jason Schott – Reporter / Assignment Editor@JESchott19

The Nets lost to the San Antonio Spurs 104-73  on Monday night, a tough start to a pivotal road trip that will most likely determine if P.J. Carlesimo remains the head coach.

The Spurs dominated the first half in their typically grinding fashion, with a lead that fluctuated between three and 10 points.

P.J. Carlesimo has the faith of Nets management. The loss in San Antonio will test their confidence in him. Photo by @LolitaLens.

Toward the end of the first half, the Nets got into a groove and cut the Spurs’ lead to three at 50-47 when Brook Lopez got a basket. The Spurs regained control with a 5-0 run to open up a 55-47 lead at the half.

That momentum carried into the third quarter, as San Antonio outscored the Nets 30-5 to blow the game open.

The Spurs shot an incredible 58.9 percent for the game, and were led by Tony Parker with 20 points, and Tim Duncan had 15 points.

The Nets were without Gerald Wallace, who has been battling numerous injuries, so Kris Humphries was back in the lineup to little effect. This was expected, as Humphries has been out of the lineup for over a week.

The Nets shot just 37.8 percent from the field, and MarShon Brooks led them in scoring with 16 points. The starters were held in check, especially Deron Williams, who shot just 3-for-11 for 8 points and just one assist. Brook Lopez was dominated by Tim Duncan (who isn’t?), and was held to 11 points and five rebounds.

The Nets travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Wednesday night. The Thunder beat the Nets in Brooklyn, 117-111, on December 4th, as Brooklyn was without Brook Lopez that night. How they fare against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook this time will show how much progress the team has made.

Over the weekend, Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and General Manager Billy King expressed confidence in Carlesimo.

On Friday, Prokhorov deflected talk of a search for a coach by saying “P.J.’s our coach.” King did the same in a radio interview on Sunday, and expanded on it by saying he has not reached out to any premier coaches, like Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, to become the permanent head coach.

How they do Wednesday night will go a long way in deciding the direction of this team.

WATCH this video of Prokhorov, Carlesimo, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace:

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5 thoughts on “Nets beat by Spurs in first part of test vs. west’s best [VIDEO:]

  1. Winning one of the next two would be a huge sign that the Nets are back on track. Thunder might be a slightly more favorable matchup, and they played them tough the first time.

  2. Ouch. It’s hard to put a positive spin on a 31-point blowout, but here goes.

    One– PJ, coaching genius? Probably not. I’m starting to think the Nets need a tough-guy coach. Blatche is still playing point center. If he’s not supposed to do that, he should be benched. If that’s in the playbook, the playbook should be burned. A loss like this brings them one step closer to conducting a search for a capable replacement.

    Two– This is what the NBA’s top teams play like. Getting 30-5’d in the third quarter should be a gut check to every single player on the team. If the Nets want a deep playoff run, they’ll have to work harder, and they’ll have to figure out a way to compete in games when their shots aren’t falling. That’s on the coaching staff too. If a team keeps getting steamrolled in the third quarter, it might be because they don’t have anything to counter the opponents’ halftime adjustments.

    Also, you can only lose a game once in the standings.

  3. It’s easy to get jealous watching a team like the Spurs.

    You can hear it in Ian Eagle’s voice as he talks about their “elite point guard” (as in, it looks like this, not like Brooklyn’s #8). You can hear it in Fratello’s voice as he gushes at the Spurs’ passing and one-step-ahead-of-you offense.

    Coach Pop didn’t win by 31 because of talent. His guys know how to play together, year after year. Brooklyn needs a coaching staff overhaul, even if it just keeps them a .500 team this season. 5 POINTS in the 3rd?? They’re going backward and confidence is swirling the drain … time for a whole new direction, already.

  4. Good points by all. After a performance like that, Phil Jackson may turn down Prokhorov because they need so much work, this season might be lost in terms of an Eastern Conference Finals trip. Howard Beck of the NYT said that Jackson wantsto take over a team on the verge of a championship. A loss like this will do one of two things: 1) get them mad and start a winning streak, or 2) create resignation that they’re not more than a low seed in the playoffs.

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