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Jason Kidd, Brooklyn Nets come up empty against Chicago Bulls

Dec 25, 2013, 3:33 PM EDT

Reggie Evans

The Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls woke up early, left on their sleeved Christmas pajamas and opened the NBA’s Christmas Day slate.

Jason Kidd probably wishes he never got out of bed.

A game after blasting his team for “kind of getting comfortable with losing,” Kidd oversaw Brooklyn’s 95-78 loss to Chicago on Wednesday, an embarrassing – and nationally televised – display for the most expensive basketball team of all time.

Down nine points with 4:26 left in the third quarter, Kevin Garnett already on the bench, Kidd pulled his other four starters.

“I’m going to go with the same group, go with the reserves right now until we get back into the game,” Kidd told ESPN’s Chris Broussard before the fourth quarter, moments after boos reached their peak volume.

Eventually, Kidd reneged on that pledge, because the Nets never got back into the game. By the time Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic returned with 8:45 left, Brooklyn trailed by 21 points.

Kidd is shifting blame, placing it on an accomplished group of veterans who don’t deserve the public shaming from a rookie head coach.

Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry – who’ve each won a championship – and Deron Williams comfortable with losing? I don’t think so.

The Nets don’t accept losing. They’re incapable of winning.

Their best player, Brook Lopez, is out for the rest of the season, but that’s just an unfortunate break. There are just as significant structural problems with how Brooklyn was assembled.

Last May, the Nets were upset by Chicago in the first-round of the playoffs. Not even eight months – and 10s of millions of dollars added to their payroll – later, the Nets are even less equipped to run with the Derrick Rose-less Bulls.

Brooklyn is older, less cohesive and more poorly coached.

For all Kidd’s showmanship about sitting his starters, it didn’t work. The Nets, in a 17-point loss, played Chicago even with all five starters in the game. In the nine minutes no starters played, Brooklyn was outscored by nine.

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Even with the prospect of falling to 9-19 with a four-game losing streak, Brooklyn had a chance entering this game, because the Bulls had similarly underwhelmed this season. Despite the Eastern Conference falling further behind its Western counterpart, these teams are no longer close to last year’s versions that fought through a seven-game series in the 4-5 matchup. Instead, they hold the conferences ninth- and 12th-best records.

But disappointment is relative, and with Tom Thibodeau at the helm, the Bulls limited theirs.

Both teams started sluggishly until Thibodeau used a two-point guard lineup featuring D.J. Augustin and Kirk Hinrich for the first time all season. With both players capable of pushing the ball and initiating the offense, entry passes suddenly coming from either side of the court, the Nets were lost and surrendered a 12-0 run.

The final results of the Augustin-Hinrich combo, though in just five minutes, were stunning. Offensive rating: 133.3. Defensive rating: 51.2.

It was the type of crafty adjustment Kidd rarely makes, allowing the rigid Thibodeau to run circles around him in even creativity.

Teletovic scored 10 points on five Brooklyn possessions early in the third quarter to briefly give the Nets the lead, but the Bulls overwhelmed Brooklyn without doing anything fancy. Chicago just defended as it always does, and six Bulls scored double digits.

Until the boos rained down during the final seconds – with a few spattering of jeers in between – the Nets fans were mostly quit during the fourth quarter. Only Taj Gibson’s powerful putback dunk really had them buzzing.

Garnett, Pierce, Terry and Williams were similarly quiet. Cameras caught them multiple times sitting on the bench, looking forlorn. In fact, it took a while for any Net to speak up.

When Kidd did, his words ran hallow.

Kidd frequently hangs his head on the sideline. If his team is following his lead, it’s here.

And nowhere else.

  1. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM


    Maybe he can coach in the D-League.

  2. 950003cups - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Kidd needs to lace up those old high tops and show these heartless punks how to win a game.

  3. jzone954 - Dec 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    It’s not just Kidd, the team is bad. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson have not been the super stars this team has needed them to be.

  4. Kansachusetts - Dec 25, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Excellent take-down of Kidd, Dan. And well deserved.

  5. timb12 - Dec 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Kidd should resign. At some point you realize that you actually ARE too drunk to drive home. Kidd is in over his head.

  6. wwttww - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Keep it up Brooklyn!

    – Atlanta

  7. progress2011 - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    I didn’t think this team would win a Chip….BUT I thought they would be competitive!

    1. I knew Joe Johnson has the WORST contract in the NBA…he makes more than Wade, LBJ and many others that are better competitors than he is.

    2. Deron is injury prone

    3. Rookie coach

    But they have A LOT of potential and veterans. This is kinda wacky

    • randomuser4 - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      They actually have the exact opposite of potential. Everyone knows what they are…they are a group of old men declining considerably and quickly with the exception of a handful. There is a movie with a bunch of old men who travel to Vegas, this is essentially the same guys but playing in the NBA. KG and Pierce were toast in years prior, they were shells of themselves and the Nets gave up the world to get them. They are getting exactly what they deserve at this point. Deron is highly overrated, he didn’t know what he had until he was gone – from the Jazz and his very good frontcourt combo…now he doesn’t have them to lean on and his shots are contested and he has to actually create more on his own…he’s still good, just far from that same Jazz PG. And well, Joe Johnson…yeesh.

  8. jdoom42 - Dec 26, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    The nets didn’t go up 3-1 and choke away their series lead last year. They were down 3-1 and forced a game 7. They should have won since Chicago wasn’t at full strength, but at least get the facts straight if you are going to rip them in a post.

  9. zoomy123 - Dec 26, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    This is becoming downright obscene. Why can’t these guys win on a regular basis? They have enough talent to win. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and a cast of great role players in Teletovic, Blatche, Livingston, etc. And yet these guys are incapable of winning on a consistent basis? Why is that? Because money can’t buy team chemistry. When the Heat got together everybody lamented how money was now buying championships…until Miami lost to Dallas. Then people understood: Money can’t buy team chemistry, or execution in the clutch, or heart, experience, etc. Teams have to build those things TOGETHER. Miami wins championships because they have faith in each other and they know how to win whether they’re down by 20 or up by 1.

  10. belleby123 - Dec 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    The Nets looked like crap, but the Bulls would’ve beat a lot of teams the way they played that game.

  11. drago2012 - Dec 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    The whole theory of putting a bunch of big names together and expecting them to win CHAMPIONSHIPS is proven to be WRONG for all times. It takes lot more then money and big names. You have to play every possession as if it was your last. Joe Johnson is lazy and the rest of the guys are too old. Deron Williams was never as good as he thought or as media portrayed him . Brook Lopes was the best guy on that team and he is out. At about this time they should start fearing the wrath of the RUSKIES!!!

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