Kidd expects to play Friday

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
6:40
PM ET
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Jason Kidd says he expects to return to the Knicks' lineup on Friday after missing one game with a sore lower back.

Kidd participated in shooting drills during a light practice Thursday in advance of the Knicks' game against Milwaukee on Friday.

Mike Woodson is prepared to insert Kidd into the starting lineup alongside Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

"We've been pretty good with him in the starting lineup," Woodson said.

Kidd doesn't anticipate playing with any minutes restrictions Friday. But he'll likely continue to get treatment on his back.

"It's just a matter of making sure I take care of myself," Kidd said.

Kidd has been dealing with a back issue since last Thursday against Boston.

He sat out of the Knicks' optional practice last Friday after feeling soreness against the Celtics. He also left the bench in the second half of games against Philadelphia and Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday to get treatment and rest his back. Kidd played just 15 minutes against the Sixers and five against the Hawks.

Woodson hopes to play Kidd for 20-25 minutes for the rest of the regular season to keep the 39-year-old fresh for the playoffs.

Kidd missed four games earlier in the season with lower back spasms. He said this most recent injury was similar to that ailment.

WOODY WANTS MORE FROM DEFENSE: The Knicks have struggled mightily on defense in six of their last eight quarters, and Woodson isn't happy about it. For the third straight day, the Knicks coach singled out his team for its porous perimeter defense.

"We were really good early in the season. Nobody was begging for help and it was beautiful to watch," Woodson said. "Somehow I’ve got to get us back to that. We can play offense like we did the other night, and just be a little better defensively, then life's a lot better for our ballclub, I think."

Last Saturday, Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday went off for a career-high 35 points against New York. The next night, Atlanta's Jeff Teague had 27 points, many of which came against Raymond Felton.

In Wednesday's win over Orlando, the Magic backcourt of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick torched the Knicks for a combined 36 points on 14-for-20 shooting in the first half.

It doesn't get any easier for the Knicks on Friday against Milwaukee, which features Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in the backcourt

"A lot of these point guards have become so good at running pick and rolls that it's not easy defending them," Woodson said. "It's my job to stay on (the Knicks) to try to defend them, because that's what everybody runs."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.2 3.2 0.6 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.5
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.0
StealsS. Larkin 1.4
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.4