Say this about Jason Kidd as a coach: apparently, he's pretty creative.
With the Nets out of timeouts and trailing the Lakers by two points in the closing seconds of Wednesday’s 99-94 loss, Kidd appeared to dive into his bag of first-year coaching tricks, buying the Nets a few extra moments to draw up a potential game-tying shot.
Jodie Meeks was at the free-throw line and Kidd subbed out Tyshawn Taylor for Mirza Teletovic after he made the first shot. As Taylor was about to walk past Kidd to the Nets’ bench, slow motion video replays show Kidd appearing to mouth the words, “Hit me” once Taylor neared him.
Taylor crashed into Kidd, spilling soda and ice on the Barclays Center floor, and during the break in action, the Nets diagramed a play to get Paul Pierce a look. Meeks made the second free throw for a 97-94 edge, and Pierce missed a straightaway three-pointer with 2.2 seconds left.
Kidd was coy when asked about his sudden butterfingers.
“The cup slipped out of my hand when I was getting Ty out,” Kidd said. “Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball. In the heat of battle, you are trying to get guys in and out of the game and the Coke slipped out of my hand.”
(Newsday's app users can watch video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqU7JHkfu0#t=0)
Blatche banged up
Andray Blatche became the latest member of the Nets’ walking wounded, spraining his ankle in the third quarter. Blatche was on the court for just 10:49 in the second half and didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter, sitting out the bulk of the Nets’ furious comeback.
“Just sprained my ankle, but I’m fine,” said Blatche, who had 14 points. “The good thing about it is it’s Thanksgiving and I have time to rest it before our next game.”
Asked if he’ll be ready when the Nets play the Rockets in Houston on Friday, Blatche didn’t hesitate: “Yeah, definitely, definitely,” he said.
Kidd focused on present
The Nets are in the midst of a stretch of four games in five nights and they’re already short-handed, given they were without Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Jason Terry (knee) and Andrei Kirilenko (back) once again.
So managing the minutes of veterans such as Pierce and Kevin Garnett is important, particularly with two sets of back-to-backs. But Kidd wasn’t overly concerned about possibly using guys more than he might like to due to the circumstances. “You just focus on tonight,” Kidd said. “The schedule is already set, so we can’t worry about the future games. We’ll worry about that one later. We’ll talk about it over Thanksgiving dinner, the minutes.”
Kidd also remained vague on when Williams, Lopez, Terry and Kirilenko would return to the lineup, sticking to his same theme.
“They’re day-to-day,” Kidd said. “These are injuries that they can come back at any time, and so we just take it day by day and we’ll see how they feel [Thursday].”