The last time we wrote about the matchup between Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson, the only issue was deciding which of the frustrating, mismanaging leaders would be the first to get the axe. When we wrote the preview for the first Nets-Knicks showdown, the two coaches had managed to get a combined total of eight wins. That was on December 5th.
Since then, both Brooklyn and New York have won eleven games total. The shortsighted approach would be to say that the teams have “turned it around,” but they still trail the Atlantic Division leader, Toronto, by 4 and 6 games, respectively.
How much of the turnaround can be attributed to good coaching? Last time these teams played, Kidd had allegedly lost the locker room and Woodson couldn’t figure out how to crack the code called defense on a team anchored by Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani in the post.
Both teams still have issues to work out if they want to be contenders. But, luckily enough, they also both still play in the Eastern Conference — meaning that they’re still within barking distance of avoiding Indiana or Miami in the first round.
Neither Kidd nor Woodson will blow the other out of the water coaching-wise, but it’s important to note that they’ve started to figure things out. Rotations are carving themselves out, superstars are finally (almost, ahem) playing like superstars and the New York squads have slowly started to resemble the teams that fans were promised in the offseason.
So, for now, the verdict is out. We’re leaving this matchup as even. It’s too close a call of mediocrity, but, hey, at least they’re less mediocre than before, right?
In terms of more current news, the Nets traded Tyshawn Taylor on Saturday night, meaning that Jason Kidd will have to deal with one less timeout for the rest of the year. One has to wonder how that will change his game plans moving forward.