Patience Has Been Kidd's Greatest Ally

By Lenn Robbins | @lennrobbins

MIAMI - For a former player that had little patience for negative results and no patience for players that didn’t leave it all on the court, perhaps the most surprising revelation of Jason Kidd’s success as a coach has been that Zen quality known as patience.

He needed all the patience he could muster after center Brook Lopez was lost for the season; Kidd had to reshuffle his assistant coaches' responsibilities and the team opened 10-21.

“It served me best, for sure,’’ Kidd said of patience. “There’s no better year to test my patience than this year because I wanted to come out of the gate fast and show that we could play and I could coach and we were having a great old time.

“But it was actually the opposite that happened and that was the best thing. People don’t believe it when I say that. But we got to find out who we are.

“In a time of panic, however you want to look at it - panic, bad, horrible - your true colors come out. And that locker room, their true colors came out. Everybody stayed the course. No one really panicked in there.

“KG, Paul, they never questioned, ‘Why did we come here?’ They just said, ‘Look, we gotta keep working and it will turn.’’’

It has turned. The Nets go into Tuesday night’s game in Miami against the Heat with a 32-13 record since Jan. 1.

Kidd is not about to get impatient. He announced on Monday that KG, who returned Saturday night in a win over the Sixers after missing 19 games with back spasms, will not play against the two-time defending NBA champs. He will play Wednesday night in Orlando against the Magic.

“Just part of the plan of what we kind of talked about,’’ Kidd said.

Kidd is well aware that the Nets (42-34) have an opportunity to sweep the four-game series with the Heat and they still have an outside chance to gain home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. He won’t waver.

Kidd was a redline player but he’s not going to burn out this team in early April only to jeopardize the possibility of a deep playoff run. KG will sit. Shaun Livingston, who played a team-high 36 minutes in the 105-101 win over the Sixers, also is likely to get some reduced minutes against Miami.

Kidd said some of his patience comes from his father, Steve. And some of it comes from the meditation audio he listened to after games as a player and continues to do as a coach.

When the Nets – boasting the highest payroll in the league, a blockbuster trade in the rear view mirror and questions if a rookie head coach could lead veteran players – faltered, Kidd called on that patience.

He had committed to a plan of not taxing his veterans with big minutes and not playing KG in a number of back-to-back games. He never wavered.

When Garnett returned Saturday night after missing 19 games, Kidd played him 13 minutes, 12 seconds and not a tick more. The Sixers cut a 21-point deficit to one, but Kidd kept KG, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson on the bench.

And after Garnett’s performance against the Sixers – 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot – the Nets look capable of being a force in the playoffs.

“I think we’ve got a good chance,” Johnson said. “Obviously the game is played on the court, so we’ve just got to stay within ourselves and just trust one another.

“We know we can play with any team in this league, and we’ve proven that, and so we’ve just got to keep coming out and showing it.”

FORTY WINKS: Nets players are wearing the "Ready Band," a watch-like device made by Fatigue Science, which measures the quantity, quality and mental effectiveness of their sleep.

According to the company website, the Vancouver Canucks are also using the watch. And, the site says LeBron James gets 12 hours of sleep per night.

I haven’t gotten 12 hours of sleep since I had back surgery. No wonder I’m such a slow typist.

UPPER ARMOR: Chris Carrawell, an assistant coach with the Springfield Armor, the Nets affiliate in the NBA Development League, will join his former Duke teammate, new Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, as an assistant with the Golden Eagles.

“Chris has a great understanding of the game of basketball and his personality will allow him to develop great relationships with our players,” Wojciechowski said. “We are going to focus on player skill development at Marquette and Chris’ coaching and playing experience make him a valuable addition to the staff and a vital piece to our on-court instruction.’’

SCOTTISH EYES ARE SMILING: It is not sold in the Nets Shop by adidas in Barclays Center but apparently there are Brooklyn Nets kilts to be had somewhere in the five boroughs.

Logan Cummings, 26, of Brooklyn proudly sported his kilt at Saturday’s 11th Annual Scotland Run in Central Park. He then took part in the Tartan Day Parade.

“Basketball isn’t very popular in Scotland but I saw a game at Barclays Center and was quite taken by the athleticism of the players,’’ said Cummings. “It’s quite remarkable what they can do.’’

Diriba Degefa Yigezu, was the male winner with a time of 29 minutes and 56 seconds. Delilah Dicrescenzo, was the female champion in 34:33.

Nets Central

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