Things weren’t pretty heading into Tuesday’s Brooklyn Nets matchup with the Toronto Raptors. The Nets had lost five in a row, eight out of nine, Jason Kidd said that his defensive message wasn’t getting through to players and Paul Pierce seemingly took a shot at the coaching staff. So general manager Billy King did an interview with the YES Network where he gave a state of the union type address as well as supported Kidd as coach.
Here are some of the highlights:
STATE OF THE UNION: “Well, one is we’re still together. Guys still believe in Jason (Kidd) as their leader. They believe in each other. It’s been frustrating because, you know, we expect to be winning more games. But, injuries have taken a toll a little biton us because we’ve asked other guys to do a little bit. But that’s not adhesive to reality, but guys are still fighting. We’re adjusting on the fly and trying to adjust due to the injuries.”
STEPPING UP: “The last game, you probably saw (Joe Johnson‘s) minutes increase, point production’s gone up. So I think we’re gonna look to ride Joe a little more until we get the other guys back, and we’ve asked (Paul Pierce) and (Kevin Garnett) to do a little more on the offensive load. (Andray Blatche) now is in a starting role so he’s gotta do more, and I guess Jason is trying to figure out the guys on the bench.”
A KIDD GROWS IN BROOKLYN: “Fortunately, I get to see him every day at practice, or we meet pretty much every day and talk. And from Day One of Training Camp to now, he’s grown tremendously and I think he’ll continue to grow. It’s amazing how people are critiquing every little thing. If he stands, if he’s sitting, what is he doing, but the one thing I know is he’s working as hard as he can. He watches a lot of film. Today he made some adjustments defensively on the pick and roll, made some adjustments offensively, so he is putting as much effort and time into it. So the progress he’s made, if he continues that pace, he’s gonna be fine.”
KIDD’S CONFIDENCE: “Jason is very confident, he believes in himself, believes in his staff, believes in the team. So he knows, and now he’s got the voice. He’s more confident in what he’s doing so when he speaks, he speaks with a lot more authority.”
TRUST IS KEY: “I think when you’re together a long time, you have that trust. If you look at the Indiana Pacers for example, their starting five has returned, so those guys have confidence and trust. They know what Paul George is gonna do defensively and offensively. They know what David West is gonna do.That is really what it is. When you play basketball or any team sport, the longer together you get more of a trust on the court from each other on both ends of the floor.”
KING STILL HAS FAITH: “I think we’ve just gotta figure out how to get some wins, cause winning helps you feel a little better. Right now, the guys are a little frustrated and not doing well. So, the more… that just takes hard work, and the more time we have, we’re gonna get there. I’m not doubting this group, I’m still bullish on this group, so it’s just gonna take time. I’m just working and the only way I know how to get better is just hard work.”