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Nets Must First Speak to Mr. Scott

June 08, 2002|MIKE VACCARO | Newark Star-Ledger

Byron Scott gets to try on the rest of the coaching uniform now, in what may be his team's last legitimate hour as a viable contender. The Nets don't need his cool reassurances anymore. They don't need to draw confidence from him, or follow his self-assured footsteps past the skeptics and the doubters.

The Nets are in dire need of a coach right now.

They need an X and O man, a strategist, someone who can make a difference with his chalkboard. As often as Scott has served as a psychological cornerman for the Nets this season, tending to their hidden wounds, rubbing salve on their bruised egos, this is not what the Nets scream for any longer.

The Nets don't need coaxing. They need coaching.

This isn't a mental crisis, it's a physical one, one that can only be remedied on a blackboard. And that is Scott's final frontier as a coach. He has to come up with something. He has to dip into a basket of tricks, retrieve a plan to allow the Nets to throw an uppercut Sunday night and jump back into the series.

And he needs to do it quickly, because he has already allowed too large a chunk of this series to vanish without summoning such a counter-attack.

Coaching. Not coaxing.

He has gotten a splendid handle on the other aspects of the gig so far. Now we'll see how the whole outfit looks on him, head to toe. It better be a snug fit.

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