Sunday, December 15, 2013
Kidd makes decision on Pierce's bench stint
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd said that small forward Paul Pierce will continue to come off the bench.
“For right now, yes,” Kidd said Sunday.
Pierce has come off the bench since coming back from a broken bone in his right hand. Over that three-game span, he’s averaging 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 25.7 minutes, while shooting 36.8 percent from the field.
“[Paul]’s selfless,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said. “That shows what kind of person he is. He can be a guy that says, ‘I’m Paul Pierce, I’m a starter in this league,’ you know? Like some guys have done. He’s just worried about winning right now, and he’s trying to get back healthy and get back into a rhythm and I think he’s doing whatever the team needs right now.”
Kidd came off the bench 28 times in his final NBA season with the New York Knicks.
Asked if it was hard, Kidd replied, “No, it’s basketball. It’s all about the last six minutes of the game. That’s where it’s won or lost, NBA games. So if you’re in at the end, that’s where you want to be.”
Pierce has played 1,120 career games and started 1,114 of them. But he has been willing to come off the bench for the betterment of the team.
“[Coming] off the injury we were trying to work him back in,” Kidd said. “It’s something that’s helped us and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Kidd likes what Pierce brings to the second unit.
“His leadership,” Kidd said. “Being able to get in our offense and defense and being a vocal guy on the defensive end.”
Alan Anderson has been starting at small forward.
“[Alan’s] been great,” Kidd said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, from playing point guard to playing 37 minutes a night.”