Jason Kidd has expressed a specific expectation for Deron Williams this upcoming season, and it’s the kind that should really give the Brooklyn Nets point guard a little shot of inspiration to up his game.
“I’m going to push him. I want the best for him,” Kidd said the other day at the new Nets store in Coney Island. “When we sit down and talk about goals, team goals and also individual goals, I’m going to push him and I want to get him back to double-digit assists.”
With an average of only 7.7 assists per game last season, Williams dipped down from his career average of 9.0 assists per game and clearly didn’t perform like the multiple-time All Star he’s gained a reputation as being.
But Kidd is cleverly issuing Williams a challenge. He wants Williams to be the dominant facilitator he once was, and this is a straight-up challenge that can get him to back to his old form.
Call that coaching brilliance.
Yet, Kidd didn’t just limit his increased assist hopes to Williams.
“He’s a smart kid, he’s worked extremely hard to become one of the best centers in the game,” Kidd said when speaking of Brook Lopez. “So passing is something that will come as he gets to see more double teams.”
Lopez does have solid vision and demonstrates impressive passing ability from time to time, but that isn’t enough for Kidd. He wants Lopez to show that he’s capable of doing more than just showing random flashes and averaging just 1.5 assists per game, as he’s done throughout his career.
So Kidd, a rookie head coach, has already raised the bar for two of his best players. Talk about fearlessness.
If those players are just as fearless, they shouldn’t disappoint.