New York Knicks Give Jason Kidd a Better Chance at Another NBA Title

By A.J. Speier

When the New York Knicks step on the court on Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, they’ll be greeted with either boos or cheers.

This game will represent Jason Kidd’s first game in Dallas since signing a three-year, $9 million contract with the Knicks. Kidd had originally agreed to resign to a similar deal with the Mavericks, but decided to back out at the last minute.

It’s clear that Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban isn’t happy with Kidd’s decision.

“I’m going to boo the hell out of him and hope he has about 15 turnovers,” Cuban said before the Knicks-Mavericks game at Madison Square Garden.

Kidd was a member of the 2010-11 Mavericks’ championship team alongside Tyson Chandler. Chandler signed a four-year $58 million deal with the Knicks last season.

Since Kidd decided to join the Chandler, the Knicks have the NBA’s best record at 8-1. The Mavericks are currently 6-6.

“Whatever it may be, I’m here in New York,” Kidd said. “So there’s nothing I could do. I’m happy with my decision. I’m trying to help these guys win a championship. I had a great run in Dallas, but this is business and you have to move on.”

One of the key reasons the Knicks have improved has been Kidd. The Knicks are averaging the fewest turnovers per game with just 10.3 and lead the league with a 1.87 assist to turnover rate. Kidd’s averaged just 0.7 turnovers in 25 minutes per game and has the NBA’s second-best assist to turnover ratio at 4.67, behind Chris Paul.

Meanwhile, Chandler is coming off of a season where he was named the Defensive Player of the Year and the Mavericks have struggled to find a replacement. Chris Kaman gives them more offensively, averaging 15 points, but his defensive presence isn’t the same.

With Dirk Nowitzki out with a knee injury, the Mavericks look like a completely different team than they were two years ago.

The Mavericks’ starting lineup now features Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion, Elton Brand and Kaman. They’ll face a Knicks’ starting lineup that includes Raymond Felton, Kidd, Ronnie Brewer, Carmelo Anthony and Chandler.

Anthony leads the Knicks in scoring with 24.2 points per game while Mayo leads the Mavericks in scoring with 21.8 points per game.

The battle of the sixth man between J.R. Smith and Vince Carter should be a good one. Smith is averaging 16.1 points and Carter is averaging 12 points.

Tip off is at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday November 21 at the American Airlines Center.

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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