Woody: Kidd's extra minutes 'not healthy'
January, 12, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsIncreased playing time is taking its toll on Jason Kidd.GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- In the three games after Raymond Felton fractured his right pinkie on Dec. 25, Jason Kidd had at least 15 points, seven assists and barely any turnovers. And the Knicks went 2-1.
But in the team's past three games, all losses, Kidd, in about the same amount of minutes (more than 30 a game) hasn't scored and distributed much, and he's been making poor passes. Against the Bulls, he didn't even have one assist.
Mike Woodson admitted after Saturday's practice the extended time he's playing Kidd has been hurting the point guard.
"We're playing Kidd minutes, man, because we are a little short-handed," he said. "He'll never complain, I know that, because he's a pro and he's been doing this a long time. But from a coaching standpoint, I know it's not healthy and not good for him to play him all those minutes, but I don't have a choice at this point right now."
On Friday night, time and time again Kirk Hinrich, an above average point guard, went right by Kidd -- and the Bulls point guard, coupled with his team's constant movement on offense, burned the Knicks. But the issue with Kidd is beyond minutes. At 39 years old, he's simply not the same player at point guard. He can't get deep in the paint and keep his dribble alive long enough to create plays. He doesn't have that extra step anymore.
"Without a doubt, he's more suited for 2 guard," a veteran Western Conference scout told ESPNNewYork.com. "The team plays better, he's more efficient and able to get his open 3-point looks. He's just not able to drive and play the way he did at point a few years ago. [Dallas] had a lot of success with him at the two."
Kidd had been playing well with J.R. Smith in the backcourt, but the position and minutes he's been asked to maintain have been taxing. Therefore, Kidd is having to give the ball up to Smith sooner in the offense. While Smith works well off pick-and-rolls, he's not a consistent point guard. He has a scorer's mentality above all else, and is more suited for the 2 and 3 spots.
Not only will Iman Shumpert soon free up Kidd to play more shooting guard -- especially to get back to knocking down 3s -- so will Felton's upcoming return possibly on Jan. 24 or 26. When Felton and Kidd started together earlier in the season, the Knicks jumped out to an 8-1 start -- and they were playing shutdown defense.
You can bet Woodson is envisioning a similar situation when he has all his guys back to prevent that "slippage" he keeps referring to. How many more times do you want to hear that?
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