Now that the playoffs are only shouting distance away, Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd is set to embrace another first. He had plenty of experience playing in the postseason throughout his career, but managing a team from the sideline will be a completely different animal.
By now, it’s clear Kidd has established a solid idea of what his rotation looks like. We know that he likes to go smaller than most teams, and that he isn’t afraid to utilize Deron Williams as a shooting guard alongside Shaun Livingston.
A newer development that’s come about within the last few weeks however, has been Kidd’s use of the recently acquired Jorge Gutierrez. It’s been somewhat of a surprise to see him on the floor in normal game situations given that he was acquired so late in the season and overlooked by many. Due to that, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me at all to see him receive a few more of those regular opportunities in the playoffs.
With an average of just 3.7 points per game and a +/- of -1.6 in 12 games played, wondering why Gutierrez has received rotational playing time on several occasions is a reasonable thought. The only rationale that comes to mind is that the Nets could use an additional ball handler in the backcourt every now and then since Kidd doesn’t appear to trust backup Marquis Teague with that responsibility.
If Kidd does decide to go the route of relying on Gutierrez for some stretches, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. At the end of the day, the 25-year-old plays hard defense and is very cautious with the basketball.
After watching how Kidd has approached his first year in a suit and tie, giving Gutierrez some run in close playoff games wouldn’t shock me one bit.