Nets: Jacque Vaughn’s adjustments deserve credit for monster upset win

Jacque Vaughn Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Jacque Vaughn Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn deserves some props for beating the Milwaukee Bucks.

Even if Jacque Vaughn doesn’t get installed as the permanent head coach of the Nets, can we give him his due for what we watched on Tuesday afternoon?

The undermanned Brooklyn Nets, casually 19.5-point underdogs to the top seed in the east (and their likely playoff opponent), dominated Milwaukee from wire to wire, fending them off down the stretch thanks to … Garrett Temple?

Feel free to correct us if we’re wrong, but we’re pretty sure that just happened.

Not only was the offense clicking on all cylinders and particularly hot when it counted, but they were also keen on playing a little zone defense to lock up the Bucks’ top options. Credit where credit is due to Vaughn, who made a major game-to-game adjustment, and continued to feed off the offensive intensity and ball-sharing mentality that led to improvements on that end, too.

Vaughn knew his main objective, without his best interior presence in Jarrett Allen, as well as his two best veteran scorers: hold down a high-powered opponent, and don’t put too much trust in any one player in an undermanned unit.

Therefore, knowing he was between a rock and a hard place, he took the pressure off his individual actors, making them more anonymous than they already were. It totally worked.

And yes, the offense looks different when the threes are falling, but baked-in luck aside, Vaughn’s group looked especially potent in getting the best looks possible by whipping the rock around the perimeter.

This franchise-record-tying effort reflected that for sure.

We don’t know what Jacque Vaughn’s future holds, and plenty have written him off before his opportunity had really begun in earnest.

Sure, this Orlando bubble was an audition for a number of players, but … hadn’t the conclusion already been drawn here? Vaughn for a veteran, the second Kyrie and KD flash the thumbs up?

That may remain the case; after all, Durant and Irving don’t want a ball-sharing, individual-minimizing system. Vaughn’s game-to-game progress should certainly give the Nets front office pause on pulling the trigger, though.

If not here, he’s certainly head coaching material in this league.