I received a guest posting from Dave Thomas on the state of the lowly, putrid New Jersey Nets. Check it out..

Even though the 2011-12 NBA season was severely hampered by a lockout that wiped out some two months of the campaign, there were certain givens coming into the season that you would have likely put money down on.

Among those would be that Kobe Bryant was still the man in the NBA, Greg Oden would never be worth all the money that Portland plunked down on him (he was waived earlier this month), and the New Jersey Nets would be bad. And guess what? All three have come true.

Just as the Mets have always played second fiddle to the Yankees, the Nets have been cast in that role to the Knicks ever since coming from the ABA to the NBA.

Although New Jersey did make it to the NBA Finals twice earlier last decade with Jason Kidd and Co. (lost to the Lakers, Spurs), there has never been the consistent star power in both players and fans with those guys in the Garden State as there is with those calling MSG home.

So, as I write this post on March 23, the Nets sit an unimpressive 18 games under .500 at 15-33.

You guessed it; the Nets are once again going to miss the playoffs, and more than likely finish at least a dozen or more games under .500. The Nets may actually be one of the teams happy that it isn’t an 82-game season, for fear of really having a nasty record when all is said and done.

While former Utah Jazz star Deron Williams has turned in productive numbers (22 ppg.) to lead the way, his anger towards some NBA refs this season and probably just an overall frustration with how the season has gone to date, boiled over earlier in the week. Williams got tossed during a game with Washington for the second time this season for arguing calls, a sure sign of a player that is searching for answers.

In an effort to surround Williams with some assistance, the Nets recently inked the much traveled Gerald Green to a deal for the remainder of the season. MVP of the NBA’s Development League’s All-Star game this season, Green is at best a decent role player and not someone that can carry a team or take tons of pressure off of Williams.

Meantime, head coach Avery Johnson has to know he’s sitting on the hot seat with both billionaire principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the fans.

Next year at this time, the New Jersey Nets will be a piece of professional basketball history, as they move to their new home in Brooklyn, hence becoming the Brooklyn Nets.

Given all signs point to this season being another disaster for the franchise (Nets are an abysmal 5-18 at home to date), one would think that Prokhorov and others owning a piece of the team will want a fresh start in Brooklyn.

Unless Orlando’s Dwight Howard suddenly drops from a tree of available players in the off-season, the Nets may not be able to keep their lone talent, Williams, from packing his bags for Dallas, back to Utah or elsewhere.

In comments following his team’s loss March 21 to the also lowly Washington Wizards, Johnson noted that “We’re just not an elite team yet. We don’t have much margin for error. We have to play great basketball to win.”

The Nets are certainly not playing great basketball these days and nothing we’ve seen to date suggests that is going to change anytime soon.

With a new arena and a new name awaiting them in Brooklyn less than a year from now, Nets fans at least have something to look forward to, yes?

Dave Thomas, who covers among other topics credit card processing, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.