After the most recent Brooklyn Nets/Boston Celtics preseason game, I took a look at the boxscore and one thing really stood out and made me shake my head. Andray Blatche had attempted six three-pointers.
He actually made two of them, which is not bad, but I’m more of a process-oriented guy than results oriented. I know that results, especially in small sample sizes, can be fluky so I’d rather see a player make the right decision and fail than make a stupid decision and succeed. To me, Blatche hitting 2-of-6 threes was a process failure.
Except that Jason Kidd, who is clearly much smarter than I, or anybody else for that matter, when it comes to basketball didn’t have a big problem with Blatche taking six threes in a game.
“His skill set is that he can score the ball,” Kidd told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “He’s trying to get us to see that he can stretch the defense. The theory behind that is that if you want to take those shots, you have to practice them. So we have to get him a little bit more shots in practice.
“That’s an added weapon when you have a guy that’s 7-feet that can stretch the defense like that. That’s something as a coaching staff we have to look at that.”
All good points from Kidd. I worry though that Blatche has shot just 22.4 percent from behind the arc in his career. Is that indicative of his lack of being able to hit such a long-range shot or is it more because, as a big man, he rarely, if ever, practices that type of shot. It’s probably a little of column A and a little of column B.
This comes down to the fact that the Nets, because of their dynamic roster, have a lot of options about how they can space the floor. This simply gives them another option and I don’t feel like it’s an absolutely terrible one to explore. We see it all the time in football, a creative play can make the difference between winning and losing and perhaps this is the Nets’ version of a NFL trick play.
While on the subject of Blatche, Kidd also told reporters that he is going to try to pair him with Brook Lopez a lot more than the Nets did last season. It made so much sense to at least try it last year, but it never really happened. It was part of the problem with P.J. Carlesimo that because he didn’t have job security, he was afraid to call any plays or do anything that wasn’t safe so he would receive less criticism.
It’s good to see that early on, Jason Kidd is not afraid to make a mistake and is willing to experiment because coaching scared is not going to get them much farther than Carlesimo did last season.