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Coach Kidd gets kudos as Nets rise in power rankings

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets finished the week 3-1. As long as you forget the Pistons blowout without Kevin Garnett on the back end of a back-to-back, that ain't bad. Moreover, the Nets are now 13-5 in the new year, the best record of any Eastern Conference team.  For the most part, the Power Rankings reflect the Nets continued rise, with pundits generally putting them in the middle of the pack.

Matt Moore of CBS Sports and Hardwood Paroxysm  has them ranked the highest at No. 9 and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! the lowest, at No. 18.

One thing Moore points out that is just starting to get traction: Kidd's record at developing players. He cites Mason Plumlee, who now leads all rookies in player efficiency, and Mirza Teletovic, whose talent Kidd recognized. As one Nets source points out, Kidd isn't just thinking about the next game. He's thinking about the franchise's future.

Next project? Marquis Teague, whose confidence and performance are slowly rising.

John Schuhmann, (15)

After Friday's shellacking in Detroit, the Nets are 2-9 on the second night of back-to-backs. Only the Bucks (2-13) have been worse and Brooklyn still has three more back-to-backs this month. Jason Kidd would be smart to sit Kevin Garnett against Charlotte on Wednesday so that he's rested in Chicago on Thursday. The Nets are a plus-9.8 points per 100 possessions with KG on the floor since Jan. 1.

Marc Stein, ESPN (13)

The Nets haven't seen .500 since they were 2-2, but they'll gladly take where they are now -- fresh off a rare W over the Spurs and within 2.5 games of Toronto atop the Atlantic Division -- as soon as someone reminds them how bleak things were Dec. 31 when they lost by 21 in San Antonio.

Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (18)

Coach Jason Kidd can rest easy during All-Star weekend after recovering from a bad start to earn East Coach of the Month honors for January.

Jason Patt, SB Nation (16)

After a three-game stumble, the Nets responded with a strong 3-1 week. To cap off the week, Mason Plumlee somehow matched and arguably outperformed Anthony Davis in a win over the Pelicans:

Matt Moore, CBS Sports (9)

Jason Kidd has done two things really well this season: Developed guys like Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee and managed minutes for weary veterans. It's working. They continue rising.

Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (14)

They have won 3-of-4 thanks to their radically improved defense (allowing just 97 points per 100 possessions in their last five games) but the real test for this team comes after the All-Star break when they head out on a seven-game road trip. They can win or lose the Atlantic Division in that stretch.

Jimmy Spencer, FOX Sports (17)

Joe Johnson is dealing with right knee tendinitis and may need to rest the injury here and there. Maybe he should take it easy and sit out the All-Star game. In doing so, he’d allow a much more deserving All-Star like Kyle Lowry to play.

Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (12)

An effective small-ball lineup isn't the only silver lining from Brook Lopez's season-ending foot injury. Rookie Mason Plumlee has been a pleasant surprise, providing a spark off the bench all season and a career-high 22 points and 13 rebounds in Sunday's win over New Orleans. The victory raised Brooklyn to a solid 9-9 against the rugged Western Conference.

Adi Joseph, USA Today (17)

Kevin Garnett might be the most valuable player posting less than seven points a game.

Tim Bontemps, New York Post (12)

Brooklyn bounced back from its 0-3 week with a 3-1 record over the past seven days, and continue to close in on the top half of the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News (14)

Jason Kidd went from a coaching mess to Coach of the Month in January in the East as the Nets went 10-3.