Oh, these coaches. Oh, these two hapless, problematic coaches. Each coaching one of the league’s two most underperforming teams, each faced with a task they’re ill-prepared to handle, each drawing out the boo birds in their home crowds more forcefully with each disengaging loss. The two have fumbled so drastically that there are (mostly joking) whispers that this game could decide the fate of either coach.
As Kidd’s learning curve steepens daily, the rookie coach has struggled out of the gate with control. His team, ravaged by injuries, has suffered blowout losses to excellent and underperforming teams alike, with seven losses by ten points or more. The team’s biggest “statement win” on the season came against the Miami Heat, while Kidd served the second game of a two-game suspension after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. The team’s halftime adjustments have been the league’s worst, and Kidd had to demote his lead assistant for reasons unclear, somewhere between philosophical differences, clashing personalities, and straight-up undermining.
While the Nets won’t — and shouldn’t — let go of Kidd this early in his tenure, this might actually be Woodson’s swan song if it ends in a Knicks victory. James Dolan already threw the iron fist down on the roster’s architect, former Knicks GM Glen Grunwald, replacing him with Steve Mills earlier this fall. With Woodson’s team floundering at 3-13, nine straight losses in their rearview mirror, a tenth would be a fitting bow on Woodson’s tenure in New York. Woodson’s known for his steadfast, unwavering commitment to archaic principles, and when those aren’t working in New York, your days are often numbered. The front office has reportedly used his coaching as an excuse for the team’s poor play, and further reports have surfaced that Woodson’s on the hot seat.
So we’ve got one coach who refuses to change his ways, and another who’s still trying to figure out what his are. Who knows what we’ll see tomorrow night from the benches?