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At midseason, SI gives the Nets a D

NBA Midseason Grades, from Sports Illustrated, Brooklyn Nets: D: 
Record (through 41 games): 17-24
Off. Rating: 24 | Def. Rating: 17 | Net Rating: 24
At a glance: In 2010, Mikhail Prokhorov entered the NBA with an oil prospector’s enthusiasm and bluster. Five years later, his Nets are a broken-down ghost town and the bills are starting to pile up. Brooklyn is hardly unique among Eastern Conference teams in its blah sub-.500 record, but they are at the top of the list when it comes to disappointments. Many of those feelings are injury- or age-induced: Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett simply can’t sustain anything resembling their peak levels. The departures of Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston have taken a toll, leaving Mason Plumlee as the only bright spot for the future.
The frustration will continue until GM Billy King is able to cut payroll and/or start rebuilding his depleted stash of future picks, but the biggest question is whether his “name” players are real assets or toxic assets. Lopez has been in rumors, and should be able to fetch something of quality, even considering his injury issues. Past that, it gets dicey fast.
Defining moment: The defining moment of Brooklyn’s season occurs every time Williams, signed to a max contract in 2012, limps to the locker room. At this point, three years into Williams’ decline, those sequences tend to run together. If there’s anything that will endure from this Nets campaign, it’s coach Lionel Hollins’ apparent disdain for his new lot in life. He’s gotten in a number of digs, but his depressing general assessment during an early-January losing streak really sums up the uninspiring state of the Nets’ union: “We have established an identity: We don't make shots. That's an identity."