Kidd Leads Nets to Playoffs, Franchise Record Home Win Streak


Kidd Leads Nets to Playoffs, Record Home Win Streak

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BROOKLYN - A perfect storm hit Barclays Center Tuesday night.

Call it Tropical Storm Jason, although the first thing Jason Kidd would say is change the name.

Kidd enjoys being singled out for his coaching prowess as much as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likes being asked about Bridgegate.

But try as he might, Kidd can't escape this fact, and neither can Nets' fans:

Without him at the helm, the Nets don't enjoy the night they had, don't relish the season they are having, don't write their names in their franchise record books.

The Brooklyn Nets beat the Houston Rockets, 105-96, to set a franchise record with 14 straight home wins.

The victory also clinched a playoff berth and came just hours after Kidd became the first coach in Nets’ history to win two Coach of the Month honors in the same season – January and March.

"It's not a coach award, it's the way the guys are playing," said Kidd, who led the Nets to a 12-4 record in March. "And when the guys are playing great, my job is to stay out of the way. It's a great honor for those guys. Unfortunately, they put the coach's name on it."

The coach's name – Jason Frederick Kidd - deserves to be on it.

He went through his growing pains, no doubt.

Kidd opted to shuffle his coaching staff, knowing he was putting more responsibility on himself.

His $50,000 fine for asking Tyshawn Taylor to bump him, which led to the infamous spilled cup of soda in the waning moments of a 99-94 loss to the Lakers on Nov. 28, will be something he can laugh about when he's bouncing grandchildren off his knee.

But today, Kidd's stature as a successful NBA coach can't be denied.

No team has won 14 straight at home at this season.

Only one other coach in NBA history, Chicago's Tom Thibodeau, has won the award twice as a rookie.

Kidd has done this despite losing center Brook Lopez (broken foot) for the season and not having Kevin Garnett (back spasms) for the last 17 games.

He has done it by showing remarkable patience in the face of the tropical pressure known as: Win Now! Prove Yourself, Now!

"I trust the process of becoming a team," said Kidd. "I think when you look at the high expectations, the new faces, new defensive schemes, offensive schemes, guys finding their way, being traded for the first time, there a lot of different things that are going on and you've got to put the pieces of the puzzle together," Kidd said.

"And you sprinkle in some injuries. So it's just a matter of time, being patient. We didn't get off to a great start but guys kept working and we found our way.''

The Nets, now 40-33 after a 10-21 start, are in the playoffs. They have won 21 of the last 23 at Barclays Center. They are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, playing their best ball as the playoffs approach.

Kidd will not take credit for any of this. He said in training camp that he wanted to coach because he thought he had something to offer – a knowledge of the game and the ability to communicate that.

That's his reward.

He was asked before the game if there are any awards, any trophies, any individual accolades that matter to him.

"The only ones that I really treasure are the Olympic gold medals (2000, 2008) that I have representing my country, and winning the [2011 NBA] championship,” Kidd said. “Those are the only ones I really recognize. Anything else is just part of the game.

"This coach of the month is great but it's about those guys in the locker room; those guys are playing at a high level. And as I said earlier, I just have to stay out of their way."

Well, he's done a heckuva a job doing that, hasn't he?

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