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News » Karl understands pain of winless Nets

Karl understands pain of winless Nets

Karl understands pain of winless Nets The team had more L's than Lollapalooza.

The coach would drive toward the parking lot for practice, but just couldn't muster the strength to turn in.

"I would drive straight by for a mile or two," said George Karl, whose 1984 Cavaliers started 0-9 in his first year as an NBA coach. "I'd turn around and say, 'OK - I can get this done.' "

Lawrence Frank is still driving. His New Jersey Nets are 0-13 heading into tonight's game in Denver against Coach Karl's Nuggets (9-4). Karl has seen both sides of games like these, and he knows what could happen if the Nuggets start playing like they're New Jersey.

"I mean, yesterday my (hometown) Steelers lost to Kansas City," Karl said Monday. "Every team in pro sports is not very far from the best team. Usually the best teams are the best at not losing their focus. Great teams dominate the simple, good, basic things at a higher level than the average team. I trust my team."

The Nets, well, they start Trenton Hassell, for heaven's sake. They have numerous key players injured. And tonight they start a four-

game road trip, while they try to avoid the dubiously historic start of 0-18.

"There becomes more and more pressure on you as you go," said Altitude TV analyst Bill Hanzlik, coach of the 1997-98 Nuggets , who started 0-12. "People don't want to talk about good things happening, they just want to talk about that one negative.

"In games, you're competitive, but through a 48-minute game, eventually your weaknesses and liabilities just show up. You have to play great and the other team has to be really off that night (in order to win)."

But the fact is, no team is going to go 0-82, right? These guys are going to have to win some time. And New Jersey all-star Devin Harris (groin) is back in the lineup; he was out when Denver won 122-94 on Nov. 4.

"It's very dangerous, very dangerous," said Denver's Chauncey Billups, Harris' point guard counterpart. "Anytime you play a team that's desperate, they're going to be fighting, scratching and clawing, doing everything they can to get a win. And they get their best player back.

"We have to worry about us, not worry about who we're playing against. Worry about us getting better. We've got to play the games with the same intensity, like we're playing the Celtics or Lakers every night."

Because, after all, the Nuggets did lose to the Clippers the other night.

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 25, 2009


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