The Brooklyn Nets are off to a terrible 3-6 start to the season. What’s the biggest culprit? Injuries? Kevin Garnett‘s poor play? Bad chemistry? Espn’s David Thorpe places the blame squarely on new head coach Jason Kidd.
“He gets an F, he gets a zero,” Thorpe said on ESPN’s TrueHoop TV. ”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 (coaching) 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.”
It’s hard to completely ignore what Thorpe is saying. The Nets are off to a 3-6 start and Kidd has looked more like a veteran sitting on the bench then a coach taking charge. I do think it’s unfair to place all of the blame squarely on Kidd though and also unfair for such a harsh criticism so early in the season.
For one thing, I’d like to see Deron Williams healthy for an extended period before making judgements on Kidd. Not to mention, the entire team is dealing with injuries including Andrei Kirilenko‘s frequent back problems. Then there is KG and Andray Blatche, two players who are playing far below their talent level right now.
Now Kidd hasn’t been perfect either. The lack of chemistry could potentially partially his fault for the way he uses players. With such a deep rotation, the starters aren’t getting a lot of minutes and they are all rarely on the court together. He also seems to have at least a small issue with exerting his authority with the players. He wants to bench KG on back-to-backs, KG argues, that idea has gone out the window. Blatche attempts six threes in a game and he’s quoted the next day saying that he’s fine with it.
Either way, I think it’s important to give Kidd, and the Nets, time. After all, it’s not like he’s going anywhere any time soon. The organization signed him to a three-year deal, the Nets like him, heck, they immediately retired his jersey, and he bought a share of the team. He hasn’t been perfect, but neither have the players. Give them time.