Everyone has had this game marked on their calendars for some time now: Jason Kidd's return to Brooklyn with his upstart Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd was learning on the job in his first year in Brooklyn while the Nets new coach has years of experience. Lionel Hollins has a much different approach to the game from Kidd while the former Net is still trying to get his footing in the league.
The YES Network had three personalities weigh in on how they see the difference between Hollins and Kidd.
Ian Eagle, who writes like he talks, talked about the difference in coaching experience between the two former players and how Hollins really gets his players.
It's "Old School" vs. "New School." Lionel Hollins has been around the NBA as a player/coach for nearly 40 years. He spent a number of years as an assistant coach developing the style he would later use as a head coach. His no-nonsense approach was very successful in Memphis as he squeezed everything he could out of that roster. Hollins understands what makes players tick, and is trying to develop that same winning mentality with this group.
Kidd learned on the job in his first year as a head coach in Brooklyn, and he proved to be a fast learner. He pushed the right buttons in the playoff series against Toronto before the Nets bowed out in the second round against Miami. Kidd's tremendous feel for the game is evident, and I believe the young players on the Bucks will greatly benefit from his practical knowledge and insight.
The coaching styles of Lionel Hollins and Jason Kidd are clearly different because of their past coaching experiences. Hollins starts his Nets coaching career with a tremendous amount of coaching experience both as a head coach and as an assistant coach. Because of this experience, he has developed a more finely tuned philosophy which focuses on team defense, with an emphasis on not allowing the opposing offensive player to drive to the middle of the paint area. Kidd, on the other hand, had no coaching experience and relied more heavily on his feel of the game and his veterans to execute his strategies.
Hollins' game strategy is different from Kidd's also, as Kidd focused many of his substitution patterns on specific minutes played by his players. Usually, he would let the game clock dictate his substitution patterns to save his players from wear and tear during the season. Hollins has more of a "win tonight's game" approach with his players. His coaching experience provides him with the confidence to make judgments on which players should be playing at the appropriate time during a game.
Sideline reporter Sarah Kustok takes a different approach to the analysis, noting a key similarity between the two: the coaches both trust their instincts.
In looking at these two coaches, there are plenty of differences they have in philosophies, systems and strategies. One similarity, though, that has jumped out to me is the comfort both have shown on a nightly basis in going for their own feel of the game at hand. Whether it's the flow of rotation, substitutions or play-calling, it seems that both Lionel Hollins and Jason Kidd aren't afraid to go with their gut on what they think will help win a ballgame. At times it may be bold or unexpected, but it has been evident that both coaches have confidence in their own understanding of the game to follow their instincts. With that being said, regardless of whether the moves or decisions within a game work or not, both Hollins and Kidd own it, remain confident in their abilities, and are ready for the next chance to compete.
This is just another look at where the Nets were and where they are going with Hollins on the roster. The Nets take on the Bucks Wednesday night in Brooklyn on YES. Tip-off is at 7:30 EST.