The Importance of Jason Kidd in New York
New York Knicks fans, take a deep breath. I understand the pain that all of you are going through after our beloved Knickerbockers fell to the Brooklyn Nets in the first ever game between the cross town rivals, in a game that was nicknamed the “Clash of the Boroughs.”
Inability to hit free throws, an abundance of questionable shots down the stretch, and lack of scoring outside of Carmelo Anthony (35 Points, 11-25) and Tyson Chandler (28 Points, 12-13) were all key factors that contributed to the Knicks loss, but the reason I am not as worried as many Knicks fans is because New York was missing one its most underrated pieces: Jason Kidd, who was out with back spasms.
Kidd is averaging 8.0 PPG and 3.4 APG, which are not eye popping numbers. However, the beauty of Kidd’s game goes way beyond his numbers. He steps up when the Knicks need him to, whether it be scoring (such as his 14 Points against the San Antonio Spurs, including three 3PT daggers down the stretch), or with his distribution of passes to shooters such as Anthony or J.R. Smith.
Kidd is no longer the high flying superstar that he was with the New Jersey Nets, but, at 39, he remains one of the elite basketball minds on the floor at all times. He sees things before they happen, slices passes through miniscule creases in the defense, hits big shots, and does everything he can to put New York in a position to win.
So, Knicks fans, please do not read to deeply into the loss to Brooklyn. We will see them again later in the season with a full team, including the floor general, Kidd. Had Kidd been on the floor in the first matchup, Raymond Felton would not have taken 19 shots (despite only making three of those), Smith would have had more open looks, and on the final play of regulation he would’ve gotten Anthony a better shot than the contested pull up jumper that missed.
Kidd is a more valuable asset than originally thought, and the Knicks will struggle without him on the floor. Hopefully, his health will hold up, and he can guide New York to a playoff run.
Watch out, Nets, you haven’t seen the best of the Knicks.