The hiring of Jason Kidd to be the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets raised some eyebrows around the league, mainly due to his complete lack of coaching experience at any level in the past.
LeBron James wasn’t concerned that it would be an issue, citing the success of Mark Jackson with the Warriors who entered the coaching ranks under similar circumstances. But the reality is, there are some fundamentals that must be picked up by anyone looking to thrive in a new position.
Kidd will attempt to start gaining that experience as soon as possible, beginning with Summer League in Orlando this July.
From Roderick Boone of Newsday (via HoopsHype):
“I think it’s the best thing to get right into it,” Kidd said on ESPN Radio. “I know that a lot of times head coaches don’t coach summer league. But this gives me time to work on different parts of the game, learning to be a coach, also my philosophy and plays and the defensive stuff that I’ll get to put in as my system.
“So, I get to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, [then see] what changes I have to make and work from there.”
Summer League is a time when head coaches around the league usually turn things over to their assistants, while observing from afar as their team’s bench players and freshly drafted rookies are gaining some valuable exposure to real basketball situations.
Kidd needs to spend time learning the basics of his new profession, too, so Summer League seems like as good a place as any to get started.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.