Friday, December 6, 2013
Scouts Takes: Brooklyn Nets need identity
By Marc Stein
Eastern Conference scout on the mounting problems for Nets rookie head coach Jason Kidd:
"I agree with Kidd when he says they've got enough to win with [despite Brooklyn's unrelenting rash of injuries]. They've still got enough to be a .500 team in a horrible Eastern Conference. They've still got enough not to lose by 30. You've still got KG, you've still got Brook Lopez, you've still got Joe Johnson. You've still got quality players that aren't completely broken. At least 80 percent of the teams in the league would still want those three guys right there.
"But there's no pecking order to what they're trying to get done offensively and they don't play defense at all. Brook Lopez needs the ball, Joe Johnson needs the ball -- that's not new -- but there's no ball movement to get to the iso part [of the offense] with those guys.
"The first thing they've got to do is establish some sort of identity for that team. Chicago is going to have a hard time scoring -- even more so now without Derrick Rose -- but you know when you play the Bulls that you're going to have a hell of a time trying to score the ball. When you play Houston, you know you're going to have to deal with that [potent Rockets] offense. Even the Knicks have an identity; Carmelo Anthony is going to take 30 shots and it all revolves around that. Right now [Brooklyn] is just a bunch of players running around.
"But I blame Mikhail Prokhorov. You're not going to hear a lot of sympathy [for Kidd] because there's a lot of [veteran assistant] coaches in this league who want the chance he's getting, but I feel for him because he's been put in a really tough position. You've got all these injuries, you've got an unsettled staff [in the wake of Lawrence Frank's reassignment], you've got a lot going on. Would Prokhorov buy a $200 million company in Russia and put a first-year guy in charge?"