Joe Johnson scored 22 points, including the tying layup in regulation and the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime to lead the Brooklyn Nets past the Mavericks 107-104 Sunday night in Jason Kidd’s return to Dallas as a coach.
During an NBA season, I get that teams need luck by the barrel to compete on a nightly basis. However, I submit to you that this Nets run has gone well beyond cosmic fortune.
Like so many, I implored the Nets to jettison their fledgling coach after they plunged to a 10-21 record to start the season. Then the Nets went 23-9 in 2014 before their loss to the Wizards last week.
The “process,” as coach Jason Kidd likes to call it, has brought the Nets to this crucial juncture. A strong performance this week would send a message that Brooklyn belongs with more elite company.
No matter how well the Nets played in the first half, we crossed our fingers and bit our nails to the bone for the next 12 minutes. Not any more. Unless I just jinxed it.
OK, so it wasn’t their Mount Everest — that would equate to the NBA title this nearly $200 million roster was expected to compete for before a 10-21 start put a damper on things — but I’ll take baby steps.
With the crowd chanting his name, Collins finally entered the game in the waning moments. He played just three minutes, had no points, one rebound and one steal.
The Nets didn’t take long to put their worst loss in more than 10 years behind them. “We looked fresh after the back-to-back,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said.
All NBA teams have off nights, but few are as feckless as the Nets were Wednesday night in Portland during their 120-84 shellacking.
Old teammate Jason Kidd coaches the team. Collins played with Joe Johnson in Atlanta and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in Boston, and they are now the respected veterans in Brooklyn.
Collins heard his name called early in the second quarter and headed to the scorer’s table to check in. When he walked onto the court, he became the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the United States’ four major pro leagues.
The undersized Nets worked out Collins during the All-Star break, general manager Billy King confirmed on Thursday. Collins would become the NBA’s first openly gay active player if he’s signed.
Kidd had to play the best guys to get the job done, regardless of emotional ties. Nets fans should be happy to see that he did just that.
The first-year coach, who has had his fair share of struggles since trading in his jersey for a jacket, has been named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January.
To all those who have already touted Jason Kidd for Eastern Conference Coach of the Month of January for piloting the Nets to 10 wins in their first 12 games in 2014, know this: He was clearly the second-best coach on the sidelines Monday night.