Josh Newman, Field ReporterORLANDO - After taking a back seat to lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank in terms of drawing up plays and leading the huddle during timeouts on Sunday at the Orlando Summer League, Nets rookie head coach Jason Kidd looked more like the head coach on Tuesday during a 93-86 loss to the Miami Heat at Amway Center.
It was Kidd leading the timeout huddles, drawing up the plays and taking the middle seat on the bench. Frank, Kidd’s one-time head coach with the New Jersey Nets, was on his left and John Welch was on his right throughout the game. Welch, a longtime assistant coach to George Karl with the Denver Nuggets, is expected to be named to Kidd’s staff in the coming days.
“I know you guys would like me to draw up plays on day one, but it’s fine,” Kidd said. “I think the biggest thing is that it’s a process, I’ll get better. For me to get better each day, that’s the goal. Hopefully, I got better today.”
“He was a lot more talkative today than yesterday and I think that just comes with experience, getting more comfortable with us, getting more comfortable with in his position,” second-year point guard Tyshawn Taylor said. “I think he’s gonna be fine.”
Days like Tuesday are exactly the reason why Kidd took the rare step for a head coach of leading a summer league entrant. The future Hall of Fame point guard said on Sunday he didn’t have any nerves entering or during his coaching debut and on Monday, he had progressed to the point where he was the one doing more of the leading, not watching and observing.
Granted, this is July and summer league, not November and the regular season at Barclays Center. This Kidd experiment is going to continue to be a process beyond this week in Orlando, but right now is all about confidence and finding a groove. Kidd sounded like he had the confidence part down on Sunday. Monday, he seemingly began to find the groove.
Sunday’s game was memorable, not only because it was Kidd’s debut, but because he picked up the rare summer league technical foul for coming out of the coach’s box to question a non-call late in the fourth quarter.
“I think that’s the goal, to get comfortable and feel better about what I’m trying to do and accomplish with my staff and with the players,” Kidd said. “Today is another positive day. Again, my comfort level, I felt comfortable, I stayed within the lines and so, you know, you’ve gotta start somewhere. That something that I tried to achieve today.”
As for the actual game, Taylor scored 25 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 10-for-11 from the foul line. He proved to be much more aggressive running the show, as evidenced by the 11 foul shots.
Coming off a solid showing in Sunday’s opener, rookie big man Mason Plumlee shot 8-for-8 from the field and finished with 23 points to go along with nine rebounds in 33 minutes.
“I thought when you saw him on tape that he had the athletic ability and he’s displaying it here,” Kidd said. “I think that’s something we all knew he had, but he’s playing hard. He has a long ways to go, but you can see some good things he brings to the table.”
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA