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Assessing the Brooklyn Nets Coaching Staff for 2020-21

| December 16, 2020 1:03 pm PDT
Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni

When we talk about the Brooklyn Nets, most people are looking forward to the performances of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who should finally be fit in the upcoming NBA season.

I believe there’s another interesting topic related to the organization, and that’s the appointment of Steve Nash. The iconic point guard received the opportunity to lead a team for the first time, and this could be the beginning of an exciting career considering his insane basketball IQ.

I share more about Nash and his credentials in this Brooklyn Nets coaching staff assessment for the 2020-21 NBA season before moving on to his assistants and their roles in the organization.

Steve Nash – Can the Player Become a Good Coach?

NBA history is full of examples of iconic players who tried their luck as head coaches. Some of them failed to deliver results, but others had a pretty respectable career. It’s interesting to see where Steve Nash ends up, and his maiden season with the Nets could tell us a lot about his future.

Up to this point, the former point guard’s experience as a coach has been minimal. Nash was invited by Steve Kerr to work as a player development consultant for the Golden State Warriors.

The rumors suggest that he became close to Kevin Durant during his stint in the Bay Area, and that was one of the reasons the Nets decided to give him a chance.

We have seen only one preseason game so far with Nash at the helm, but there were some good signs. The Nets had a balanced offensive system that featured plenty of screens and handoffs designed to create space and easy buckets.

At the same time, the team could afford to lean on Durant and Irving for isolations when the going got tough. It looks like Nash should be able to build a strong offense, which is hardly a surprise considering his career as a player.

As for the defense, it looked decent as well. Both stars of the team worked hard on that end of the floor, and we know that they have the right mindset at the start of the season.

Meet the Brooklyn Nets Assistant Coaches

Every inexperienced head coach needs the proper assistants to succeed. Let’s see if Steve Nash brought them to the Brooklyn Nets.

Jacque Vaughn

Steve Nash appointed Jacque Vaughn as his assistant coach, which looks like a good decision. The former NBA player started his career with Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs before becoming the head coach of the Magic.

His time in Orlando ended in 2015 when he returned to Spurs and was later brought to the Nets as an assistant coach.

Vaughn’s close connection with Spence Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarett Allen, Joe Harris, and other crucial players should help Nash build chemistry in the Nets locker room.

Mike D’Antoni

As soon as Mike D’Antoni was released by the Houston Rockets, everyone thought he would be appointed as the head coach of another NBA organization. The coach joined the Nets as an assistant instead, but that’s not that big of a shocker if you think about it.

D’Antoni and Nash have a strong connection from their time together in Phoenix, so it was only natural for the former point guard to seek help from his mentor.

There’s little doubt that D’Antoni will heavily influence the Nets offense, and you could expect a lot of outside shooting from the team as a result. This is certainly something to consider when betting on NBA games that include the Nets.

Ime Udoka

Steve Nash also has an assistant that should handle the defense, and that’s Ime Udoka. He was a specialist on that end of the floor as a player, and his time as an assistant to Gregg Popovich certainly improved his understanding of the art of defending.

Udoka arrived in Brooklyn in the 2020 offseason and his role will be crucial. The team has all the offensive talent in the world, and defense is the area that needs the most work.

The Rest of the Staff

The Brooklyn Nets staff features several other assistants that have different roles within the organization. Adam Harrington is responsible for player development and has been with the franchise for several years.

Another two staff members that kept their jobs are Athletic Performance Coach Daniel Jones and assistant Jordan Ott.

The likes of Ryan Forehan-Kelly, Royal Ivey, and Tiago Splitter completed the group of assistants, and they will be mostly responsible for player development.

Can Nash Lead the Nets to the Title?

There’s no way to know for sure if Steve Nash will be a good head coach, but the overall analysis of the Brooklyn Nets staff for the 2020-21 NBA season shows that this is a strong group.

Mike D’Antoni is an elite offensive coach, while Ime Udoka will take good care of the team’s defense. If you add Jacque Vaughn, who has contributed to the organization’s rapid rise in the past five years, and the army of player development coaches, it certainly looks good for the Nets.

They have a strong group of coaches that will work with two superstars and a bunch of talented role players. All the ingredients for something special are there, and the only major concern is the health of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

If the two leaders can stay fit and are anywhere near their best, the Brooklyn Nets will be among the title contenders in the upcoming NBA season.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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