They may have made their way across the pond to show the people of London an NBA basketball game, but Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd and his staff instead resembled a group of very intelligent NFL coaches on Thursday.
This ultimately resulted in their best game plan of the season and a 127-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Given that neither team had played since last weekend, it was crucial that the mildly-anticipated British-based matchup between the Nets and Hawks be approached with a football-like mentality by the coaches, minus wearing team apparel on the sideline.
And after getting ripped much of this season for the Nets showing less enthusiasm than a dog entering a veterinarian’s office, Kidd and his assistants stepped up and got the job done with flying colors. It would have been easy for the players to lay another egg following a tough loss in Toronto last Saturday night, which was then ensued by intercontinental travel shortly after.
But Brooklyn’s coaches were not going to accept a lack of effort and hope for a pass due to the unusual circumstances thrown before them. It was clear by halftime – when the Nets led 65-53 – that they did an outstanding job of keeping the players extremely motivated throughout the week, focused on playing crisp basketball against one of the few winning teams the Eastern Conference has to offer.
By the time the third quarter came to a close and Brooklyn had built a 99-74 lead, there was no doubt that Kidd and his guys had preached the perfect philosophy throughout the week. Make the extra pass and make them pay from the outside. The Nets did just that as they totaled 38 assists on the night and finished 16-for-27 from three-point land.
Not that any NFL executives are going to be blowing up Kidd’s cell phone anytime soon, but under these unique conditions, he and the rest of his staff were just as prepared as their pro football counterparts aspire to be every Sunday.