Paradise wrote:Y’all are not excited enough for Udoka. He’s a perfect hire.Udoka, who spent the 2019-20 season as the Philadelphia 76ers top assistant and the previous seven years under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, brings that defensive philosophy the Nets are hoping for.
In his most recent stop with Philadelphia, Udoka was one of the league’s highest-paid assistants, serving as the defensive ‘coordinator’ for the team. After taking the job, he told local writers that while in San Antonio, his job was strategizing against “eight or nine [opposing] teams,” on both ends of the court, his Philly gig was purely defense.
He stressed that the 76ers play physical and make the opposing team feel uncomfortable on the defensive end. Udoka was constantly constructing and making defensive tweaks, especially in the 76ers frontcourt that was anchored by Joel Embiid. The 43-year-old assistant also helped develop Matisse Thybulle, the 76ers rookie known for his thoroughly annoying defense.
One thing Udoka focused on in Philly was how poorly the defense handled pick-and-rolls during the 2018-19 season. Specifically, in “big-small” pick-and-rolls, dropping the big man — having him essentially play “center field,” as Udoka said — became fundamental.
He told Philly beat writers back in September that he wanted “up to touch” coverage where the big man will get so close that he can reach out and touch the back of the screener. The idea behind this approach is to initially close down that gaping space in the middle of the floor, then have the big retreat into center field.
Outside of his defensive prowess, Udoka has been known as a communicator, the “good cop” to Gregg Popovich’s “bad cop.” But as Kyle Anderson put it, “If he gets on you he’ll get on you but he knows how to talk to us, knows how to handle players.”
Sounds like a defensive scheme that requires Jarrett Allen.