Jason Kidd Returns For Milwaukee Bucks

Apr 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd before game two of the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd before game two of the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

After a month-long absence, Jason Kidd was back coaching for the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night.

A familiar face was on the Bucks bench again in Milwaukee.

After missing 17 games and more than a month’s worth of time after hip surgery, Jason Kidd took his seat on the Bucks sideline once again, well at least for a bit.

Kidd paced the sidelines more than he sat there, after doctors suggested for Kidd to get up and move during the game. “I was told not to sit long, so I had to get up and try to get in shape,” said Kidd after the game.

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After his team fell behind by 16 points midway through the second quarter, pacing the sidelines was not an issue for the Bucks head coach.

However, the Bucks were able to rally for their returning head coach behind impressive performances from their two budding stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Giannis poured in 25 points and nine rebounds on stellar 12-of-16 shooting from the floor. Middleton matched Giannis with 25 points of his own, including a perfect 11-for-11 mark from the free throw line.

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Kidd’s Bucks followed the recipe they have used all season to claw their way to a victory Tuesday night. Relentlessly, Milwaukee attacked the rim after falling behind big, leading to a 62-26 advantage in the paint against Orlando.

The Magic were able to keep pace with Milwaukee Tuesday night from behind the arc. Orlando shot 54 percent from deep, connecting on 13-of-24 attempts. However the Bucks, or Jerryd Bayless to be precise, were able to connect from three when it mattered the most.

With 2:19 left in regulation, Bayless hit a wing three-pointer to give Milwaukee a 96-95 lead. Bayless struck again with 0:13 left, this time from the left corner, burying a three, along with the hopes of an Orlando victory. The Bucks were able to hold on from there en route to a 107-100 victory in Kidd’s return.

With the victory Tuesday evening, the Bucks are four games out of the playoffs in the East. Therefore the return of Kidd comes just in the nick of time for Milwaukee. The Bucks, under Joe Prunty, were able to go 8-9 in the absence of Kidd and stay afloat in the Eastern Conference.

However, despite periods of success with Kidd out, the young Bucks seemed to be missing out on leadership and wisdom from their head coach. While Prunty was able to provide the team stability, he could not match the experience that Kidd provides after 19 years of playing in the NBA.

Tuesday before the game Kidd spoke to the media about his team. He touched on the importance of chemistry and camaraderie in the Bucks locker room.

"“Being excited for one another and helping each other out is something that young teams sometime can struggle with. I think They are going through the process of learning that no matter if you foul out, you can always cheer on your teammates.”"

Later Kidd added that his players needed to learn to become closer as a team not only when they win, but more importantly when they lose. The Bucks have done a fair share of losing so far this season, and it is difficult to learn from those losses and stay together as a team when your head coach is at home recovering from surgery.

No doubt this has been a season of growing pains for the Bucks and the loss of Kidd for the past month may have stunted that growth. With Kidd back on the sidelines these young Bucks hope they can come together as a team and put together a strong second half of the season.

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The talent is at hand for the Bucks, let’s see if Kidd’s return can bring it all together