Jason Kidd

That is one relieved Jason Kidd after Nets win (VIDEO)


Brooklyn did their best to choke away a win Tuesday. Toronto went on a 14-0 run in the final minutes to get it within two (after the Nets did not play the free throw game well), and they had a shot at tying it. (Go read our nightly NBA Grades to see what I thought of the 1-4 flat play with a kick-out to poor shooting Amir Johnson on that last play — why is a poor shooter from three in the prime corner three kick-out space?)

Brooklyn survived 102-100 — and nobody is more relieved than Jason Kidd. The coach has been under criticism, his team was 3-10 and in desperate need of a win. They got good performances from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they actually played well in the third quarter, and it almost wasn’t enough after a late game collapse. Jason Kidd (who seemed more animated on the bench Tuesday than in the past) was just relieved.

Hat tip to The Brooklyn Game (via The Point Forward at SI) for the video.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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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.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.