Now former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is expected to be brought on as the new head coach for the Brooklyn Nets.
Udoka, 45, will be leaving a Celtics franchise where he was brought to shame, after sexual misconduct allegations stripped him of his position with the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.
The Brooklyn Nets plan to hire Ime Udoka as their new head coach, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Boston granted the Nets permission to speak to Udoka and will allow him to leave freely, sources said. https://t.co/lFeHY8hUiS— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 1, 2022
Steve Nash was ousted as the front man for the Nets earlier today after earning an underachieving 2-5 record, which saw losses to bottom-of-the-barrel teams such as the Indiana Pacers. After inquiring with other coaching candidates such as Quin Snyder, formerly of the Utah Jazz, per an Adrian Wojnarowski tweet, Udoka was ushered to the forefront in short order.
Ime Udoka turned the season around for the Celtics in the 2021-22 campaign. By New Year’s day, they were below .500, sporting a lackluster 17-19 record. They went on to right the ship, and close the season winning 34 of their final 46 games. They became the third team in league history to be under .500 exactly halfway through the season, and finish above .600 by season’s end.
If there’s any coach that can turn around a season, and fast, it’s Udoka. His emphasis on defense was prevalent last year, as Boston was the best in stifling offenses, giving up a mere 104.5 points per game. Boston also got after it behind Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. Udoka had his troops doing dirty work, where they were top-10 in charges drawn and second in loose balls recovered.
Currently, the Nets are 28th in the league in defense, as they are one of only four teams coughing up 120 or more points to their opponents. They are allowing the second most 3-pointers made per game (14.7), and are again only one of four teams allowing opponents to shoot 40 percent or better from deep.
There’s also an effort problem in Brooklyn, as they are tied for fourth-worst in opponents offensive rebounds per game. Even more concerning is Ben Simmons. The Nets haven’t been extracting the best out of the Australian star, and it has shown.
Simmons is only hoisting 5.7 shot attempts per game. He gets up 11.5 shots a game for his career. Clearly something is wrong with him, and it’s not just a rumored fear to go to the free throw line.
With a plethora of issues on both sides of the ball, and with their third-best player, Udoka will have his work cut out for him to turn this franchise around. But if his history translates to the future, he will work his guys in practice to the point of nausea, until defense, tenacity, and efficient offense are of focus, and executed up to standard.