There are issues upon issues for the Nets. The third quarter has become 12 minutes of ritualistic torture each game. Players and coaches say the struggles have gone beyond mental. On-court chemistry is a fantasy. And the physical nature of the mess? Don’t ask.

But because you did, the health news is not too encouraging, either.
Deron Williams, in his first comments since spraining his ankle Wednesday, admitted to the frustration everyone feels and said while there is no timetable for his return, it won’t come Tuesday at Toronto.

“I want to get back out there tomorrow, but am I going to? No. I’m just going to keep rehabbing. It’s still a little swollen, still a little sore,” Williams said Monday. “So when it’s healthy, I’ll get back out there.

“I am not going [to Toronto]. Not my choice but not going on this trip,” Williams said. “I don’t know if I am playing the Lakers game (Wednesday) or not. Could feel better in two days. Just going to stay here and get treatment, see how it feels.”

So Williams will not play against the Raptors. Neither will Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) or Jason Terry (knee).
But Shaun Livingston (head contusion) is probable. In a stunning development by Nets standards, Livingston, after getting whacked on the noggin Sunday in the 109-97 loss to Detroit, underwent tests, which showed no concussion. Finally a Net suffered an injury that did not waylay him for weeks.

“I’m just glad he’s all right because he’s playing well for us,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
He’ll probably come down with the plague. Nothing is going right and the frustration is high everywhere. A 3-10 start is not how a team that talked title gets going.

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted this,” Williams said. “We are a better team than this. Regardless of … whoever is out, we still have a good enough team where we should still be competing and winning. … Third quarters are definitely something we have to look at because it’s been a problem. It’s not one thing I can put my finger on as to why it’s going wrong.”