First year head coaches often find themselves commandeering mediocre ball clubs, but Jason Kidd has himself a championship contender, and balancing expectations with on-the-job training could be his biggest challenge.
Nets' owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, cares most about winning a championship—as quickly as possible.
When he bought the Nets in 2010, he guaranteed to deliver a title within five years. Currently, the Nets are in year three of his reign, and they have their best roster on paper, since his arrival.
On paper doesn't mean much, however, as basketball fans witnessed the frustration caused by the Los Angeles Lakers' lackluster season in 2012-13.
Although Brooklyn is in a different position, with pieces that actually compliment each other, rather than relying on star-power to overcome chemistry issues, a lengthy losing streak could decimate the faith and hope brewing in the Barclays Center.
In order to keep the New York media and Prokhorov off his back, Kidd must fortify his troops amid any possible turmoil.
A losing streak must never exceed three games. If that slump occurs, a slew of negative attention will be thrown Kidd's way by fans, reporters and ownership—even though it looks like he'll be a minority shareholder.
If you've watched enough basketball games and paid attention closely, you've seen plenty of teams fall apart in the middle of games after the opposing coach adjusts to the product on the floor.
As a rookie head coach, Kidd may have some initial trouble managing throughout the course of the game.
Sure Kidd has a seasoned veteran in Lawrence Frank sitting next to him, to guide his decisions, but he and the Nets can't be handcuffed to the second-in-command. Kidd will need to use the premonitions that made him such a brilliant passer to outwit who he coaches against.
How he adapts to the competition in a crucial game could decide how long the Nets' season lasts.
Kidd will have to manage his lineups, using the right reserves to hedge against fatigue and foul trouble, and he'll need to call out or draw up the perfect play when a bucket becomes more important than oxygen.
In years past, as the coach on the floor, Kidd could create and orchestrate the offense however he pleased, but on the sidelines, he'll need to articulate his game plan and quickly be aware of what isn't working and why.
Stopping the Miami Heat
Regardless of how talented the Nets may be, and how phenomenal Jason Kidd could be as a head coach, the Miami Heat are still the reigning NBA champions, looking to three-peat.
For the Nets to reach their goal, they will likely have to pass through LeBron James and the Heat.
Scoring consistently against the tough defense Miami plays is also a challenging process.
The Nets have the luxury of two offensively gifted big men—Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez—that should exploit the Heat's weaknesses, but Kidd will have to work around the adjustments Erik Spoelstra makes.
It'll also be imperative for the Nets to limit their turnovers, or else Miami will stampede up and down the court.
If Brooklyn and Miami meet in the playoffs, Kidd may have to dig deep into his memory—to when he won his ring with the Dallas Mavericks—and implement the defensive tactics that stymied LeBron James and the Heat, while preaching precision and perfection.
His first year as a head coach will be challenging, but with his intuition and vast knowledge of the game of basketball, coupled with Brooklyn's depth, Kidd will find himself smiling more often than sulking.
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