Can things get any more bizarre for the Nets?
First there’s the Jason Kidd “glass-flop” trick, then the benching of several starters. And now Paul Pierce has a fractured hand and will be out two to four weeks.
The funny thing is the Nets found a way to win two of four games during that bizarre chain of events last week. They are still in a hole, but the team still has some fight. Kidd’s crew fought all the way back from a 27-point deficit to make the Lakers game close.
The next set of games—Knicks, Bucks, Celtics—could go a long way in determining the immediate future of the Nets and possibly Kidd’s future. Is it too early to be talking about jobs being on the line? It’s never too early in professional sports. Just ask Avery Johnson. He didn’t even make it to 2013 after a 14-14 start. But Kidd is likely to get some slack because he’s a rookie coach and because of the Nets’ injury situation.
Kidd isn’t about to wait for his guys to come around. He already took steps to light a fire under the troops, and it started during the Nets’ 114-95 blowout loss to the Rockets last week as Kidd benched all of his starters, except for Brook Lopez, in the second half.
“We had to go with the guys that were going to play hard,” Kidd told reporters. “And those were the guys. And I played them the whole second half.”
Kidd was referring to bench players Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee, Alan Anderson and Tyshawn Taylor, who all scored in double figures in the loss. Teletovic was especially effective, with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Plumlee, a rookie from Duke, added 16 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes.
Is it a good thing Kidd benched Pierce, Andray Blatche, Shaun Livingston and Joe Johnson? No, but it was good to see the bench playing well. Seeing the backups get minutes could be just what the doctor ordered to get the Nets’ starters back on track.