NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets' slide has reached five straight defeats, but rookie coach Jason Kidd continues to have the support of the team's Russian ownership, according to league sources.
Playing without the injured Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry, Brooklyn faded in the second half Sunday night and came away with a 109-97 home loss to the Detroit Pistons to fall to a stunning 3-10.
But sources told ESPN.com that Kidd continues to have the backing of his bosses with Brooklyn dealing with several injuries and other mitigating factors which have contributed to the poor start.
The Nets are in 14th place in the East through Sunday, despite the NBA-record payroll sanctioned by Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who is on course to spend around $190 million this season on salaries and luxury taxes.
Among the Nets' initial concerns early in the season, sources confirmed, were some "philosophical differences" between Kidd and lead assistant Lawrence Frank. But sources stressed to ESPN.com that the Nets have been working to smooth out any issues in recent days.
"They're fine," one source said of Kidd and Frank.
Coming into the season, Frank was considered as the ideal complement to Kidd as he learned on the job, similar to the set up in Chicago when first-time head coach Vinny Del Negro was flanked by two veteran head coaches in Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff. The New York Daily News, in Friday's editions, first reported an issue between Kidd and Frank; multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have labeled it "friction" to ESPN.com.
Sources say Nets veteran players support Kidd, who has coached in 11 of the Nets' 13 games so far. Kidd opened his first season as a head coach serving a two-game suspension, with assistant coach Joe Prunty moving from behind the bench to serve as the team's interim coach. Frank and fellow bench assistant John Welch respectively remained in their defensive and offensive coordinator-like roles ostensibly for continuity.
The Nets, though, have seen anything but continuity on the floor. The flood of injuries has forced Kidd to use five different starting lineups in the last six games.
Williams (ankle) has missed four games and Lopez (ankle) has sat out the last five. Kirilenko (back) has been sidelined for nine games and Terry (knee) has missed two straight for the Nets. Joe Johnson has been the only Net to start every game this season.
The Nets also have had major problems in the third quarter of games. They were outscored 34-15 by the Pistons in the third Sunday afternoon and are 0-10 this season when they have lost the third quarter. In those 10 third-quarter losses, they have been outscored by 96 points.
And when it happened against the Pistons, Brooklyn heard boos from the home crowd en route to losing for the eighth time in nine games.
"I think everybody in here is embarrassed," an exasperated Garnett said. "You definitely don't want that at home. Like I've been saying, we're going to continue to work to try to change this as best we can."