2006_01sjefferson.jpgIf Vince Carter scores four points, the chances of the Nets winning that game become slim. Carter made just two of his 14 field goal attempts Monday, and the Jazz took care of the Nets 89-78 in Utah. The Jazz deserve plenty of credit for shutting down Carter, who forced bad shot after bad shot in the loss. His poor shooting was contagious; the Nets shot only 2 of 21 from three point range.

Those looking for a bright spot in the Nets' season so far know they have won 13 of the last 18 games and lead their division. Those looking to be negative can point to the recent losses against the better teams they've faced such as San Antonio and Dallas. The Nets have a few quality wins during their hot stretch, including a win over Miami. Nevertheless, they'd like to be able to beat .500 teams like the Jazz on the road. WIth the All-Star Break 3 weeks away, the Nets have some work to do to continue their improvement after their dismal start.

Photo by AP/Douglas C. Pizac