Jason Kidd pulled an old school move from the Rec League days and won my respect, and quite possibly his teams as well. The Lakers couldn’t miss in the first quarter, and all the Nets did was miss while they fell behind by what everyone thought was an insurmountable lead.
As a fan and writer for the Nets, I do get a little discouraged when they lose games, but I know they are a better team than what we have seen this season. Due to injuries, this team has been depleted and is trying to pull games out with reserves and players that are finishing up their storied careers. A loss is a loss, no matter how you slice it or dice it. I do not believe in moral victories, because they do not count in the win column. Moral victories are only good for draft positions and ping pong balls. What the Nets did last night against the Lakers was show some grit and the ability to withstand a sucker punch to the jaw.
They fought their way back to tie the game, and Paul Pierce failed to do what he was signed to do this offseason, and that was make clutch shots for the Nets; this was the second game in which he failed in the closing seconds to do so. Joe Johnson was the little offense the Nets had in the first half, then he went ice cold in the second half when his team needed him the most.
Now that Kidd sees what he can do if given some playing time, maybe he should play Mirza Teletovic more. The guy is a three-point sniper and helped cut that lead down. As a coach, Kidd has to know how to feel and read his team when the odds are stacked against them. Kidd pulled a soda-gate to get his team a timeout they didn’t have to try to construct a play in the last seconds. While the gesture was amusing to many, it was a clever move that only a former player would try.
The Nets gave everything they had in this game, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the victory. The Nets dropped to 4-11 on the season, but might have found their so-called “chemistry” in the process. This was the kind of lost that is a character builder and one the team badly needed. While there might not be any smiles and laughs in the locker room after the game, there has to be a sense among the team that they can take a punch and get back up. The only question left is, once they get back up, can they throw a knockout punch of their own?