Jason Kidd Debut: Former Star Will Lead Nets to Victory in First Game

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2013

Jun 13, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd speaks during a press conference at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a momentous victory and two days' rest entering head coach Jason Kidd's debut Sunday night against the Orlando Magic.

With Kidd's presence on the bench and the squad's synergy improving, Brooklyn will be too much for the younger, less experienced Magic to overcome.

It might be a different matter if Orlando had a veteran presence to counter Kidd, but the Magic have a young coach themselves in Jacque Vaughn, who at age 38 is even younger than the 40-year-old Kidd.

Brooklyn just defeated the two-time reigning NBA champion Miami Heat on Friday at home, and in stark contrast, hit the road to face the team that had the Association's worst record last season.

Kidd may be a kid in terms of being a coach, but he only has to exude a calm, composed presence and let his loaded starting five go to work.

An intriguing matchup of centers looms with Nets star Brook Lopez taking on Orlando's 23-year-old 7-footer Nikola Vucevic. While the tangle between those two will contribute to the game's outcome, Brooklyn has a big advantage at Kidd's position of expertise.

Point guard Deron Williams should benefit from a mentor in Kidd who was a 10-time All-Star and an excellent defender in his illustrious playing career. That should make Williams' all-around game even better, and the partnership will commence its forging in Orlando's Amway Center.

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 3:  Head coach Jason Kidd and Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets practice during NBA-TV's Real Training Camp in Durham, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this p
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Williams will be able to post up his counterpart, Jameer Nelson, or use his height advantage to shoot over him.

But what will determine this game's outcome the most—and tip the scales in the Nets' favor—is the presence of ex-Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

The new duo gives Brooklyn a competitive tenacity it lacked before their arrival, not to mention a defensive boost. Garnett and Pierce's leadership will also make Kidd's job easier, which is critical at the outset of his maiden season at the helm of a team with high, championship expectations.

Joe Johnson may find life difficult matching up with Victor Oladipo, Orlando's No. 2 overall draft pick, and Arron Afflalo on Sunday, but Brooklyn has the personnel edge in every other area on the perimeter.

The younger Magic may try to run, but the Nets proved in beating the Heat that the viable pieces of their lineup are coming together, and they will continue that momentum with a win to get Kidd's tenure off to an ideal start.