By Jason Schott - BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd discussed the big parts of Game 7, won by Brooklyn 104-103, and their epic series with the Toronto Raptors.
The game ended with a Paul Pierce block of a Kyle Lowry shot in front of the hoop. Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd said of the last play, "We were feeling that Lowry was going to get the ball, and I told KG walking on the floor that I needed him to trap, that once the ball comes in, maybe if it's a pick-and-roll, I need you to go hit it and stay with it and make him a passer, and Paul steps up and makes a big block. I thought team defense down the stretch, we might have bent a little, but we didn't break. That's what veteran guys do...Paul said it best, that's why he's here, to make plays. He didn't have a great game, but it only takes ONE PLAY to help a team win, and that's what he did tonight."
On what it was like to watch those final seconds as a coach instead of a player, "It was definitely in HD. I had a great seat, that's what basketball's all about this time of the year. We tip our hats off to Toronto, they fought, they played extremely hard for 48 minutes in all seven games, but watching the out of bounds play where we turned it over, and then just seeing the character of those guys staying together and understand we had to get a stop to win this series and we did."
On if Kidd expected a run by Toronto, he said, "That's what this series has been. The last four minutes of a team being up, the opposite team making a run and being able to get a win or fall short. All seven games were like that."
Kidd said of his emotions, "Excitement, to win on the road, Game 7, it's as close as maybe being in the NCAA, you know, if you lose, you go home. For us to come in here and get a win, shows the character of the team and how good we can be."
On the performance of Marcus Thornton, Kidd said, "I thought (Marcus) Thornton was great for us early on and throughout the whole game. He was knocking down shots, he was rebounding." It clicked for Thornton in Game 7, as he had 17 points on 4-for-6 from the field, and all the shots he made were three-pointers, and six rebounds. Thornton barely played in the series until Game 5 when he had 5 points, on 2-3 shooting and 0-1 on 3-pointers, in 16:36 of play. In Game 6, he played 11:22 and was 2-for-6 from the field and missed his one field goal attempt.
On the performance of the bench, Kidd said, "Everybody played a part in this series to help up win. No matter if I played 11 guys or 12 guys or nine guys, everybody's a part of the win."
Kidd ran for Deron Williams when the game ended, and he said of that, "Find the closest guy...maybe he was the farthest, but I sit a lot and I try to enjoy the greatest athletes play this game and I was just excited. I don't know if that was my Jimmy V, but I was caught in the moment because of us getting a stop on the defensive end and we did that a couple times during the season, but every game of this series came down to the last couple of possessions."
Joe Johnson had 26 points on 11-for-25 shooting (1-5 on 3-pt), with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He had 13 points in the fourth quarter, including seven straight at one point. On if he is surprised anymore by how clutch Johnson can be, Kidd said, "That's been pretty much us all year. Joe makes something happen in the sense of getting him in the position to be successful, if it's on the post or on the free throw line. Being able to get the ball in his hands and for him to make a play where it's scoring or finding a teammate, and he did that this whole series."
On playing the Heat in the second round and confidence they may have since they swept them in the regular season, Kidd said, "0-0, right now we're gonna sit here and enjoy this for a couple of hours. When we fly to Miami, we'll start preparing for them. We'll think about them tomorrow."