Similar to their crosstown rivals, the Nets have been underwhelming this season, winning only three of their first 10 games and playing abysmal on both sides of the ball. New coach Jason Kidd, blames himself, and everyone basically agrees with his self-critique.
Kidd claimed it was “just bad coaching,” following Brooklyn’s failure down the stretch against a surging Blazers team. “I take the blame for this. This falls on my shoulders,” he continued.
After the Nets scored 40 first quarter points last night, despite missing Deron Williams, they seemed to have vanquished their stagnancy on offense, which placed them in the bottom third of the league for efficiency. But that was a brief interlude because the Blazers ended up beating them by 10. Kidd is the one under the microscope though, and the reaction around the league seems to agree that he’s to blame for Brooklyn’s poor start through the season’s first 10 games.
Howard Beck at Bleacher Report spoke with a scout who called Kidd’s bench behavior, “terrible.” The scout also said the play-calling duties had been relegated to assistants Lawrence Frank (defense) and John Welch (offense):
“He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout, who has watched the Nets several times. “He doesn’t make calls. John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence does all the defense. … I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”
The same scout said he had counted only 15 plays run by the Nets in the games he has watched. Multiple observers have noted that the Nets offense lacks any discernible flow, as if the stars are all simply taking turns with the ball.
ESPN’s David Thorpe, who also works with NBA players to develop their skills, called Kidd “the worst coach in the league” on TrueHoop TV earlier this week. Here’s the entirety of what he told Henry Abbott, as transcribed by The Brooklyn Game:
He gets an F. He gets a 0. My wife could coach a team to a 29th ranking for that team. She doesn’t know much about basketball. He just… his guys, I don’t think they have any purpose and passion to what they’re doing. I think they’re discombobulated. Listen, Henry, he was an amazing player, one of my favorite of all time for a lot of different reasons, but our profession is different from his profession, and to assume that that transition is easy, it’s a short bridge, is crazy. He has a long way to go to figure this out. Do I think he’ll be better? Will they be better? It seems very likely. But as he’s currently doing, he’s the worst coach in the NBA.
Through 10 games, the Nets are in the bottom third of the league in seemingly every category, but they rank 20th in offensive efficiency, 25th in defensive efficiency, and dead last in fast break points. They’re also giving up more fast break points and more points in the paint than any team in the league. Sure, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and others have all missed time this season, but with so many future Hall-of-Famers and former All-Star selections, the personnel should understand the importance of limiting easy buckets in transition and near the bucket. Some of that blame has to fall on the coach. Kidd is no longer playing, so he has to figure out a way to mesh all those talents without bringing the ball up the court himself.
Whether that’s on Kidd still, or his assistants â€” who appear to be running the team, according to Beck’s scout â€” the Nets need to figure out how to win some basketball games.
The intra-city rivalry we continuously came back to this summer is looking more and more like a mirage while we were going through NBA withdrawal.
What do you think?
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