New York Knicks Make Changes to Address Loss of Jason Kidd

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

When Jason Kidd suffered lower back spasms three games ago, the New York Knicks were worried about how it would affect their lineup.

Surprisingly though, the Knicks have been just fine without Kidd.

After a 96-89 loss on Monday to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime, the Knicks have won their last two games. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 102-88 on Wednesday and the Washington Wizards 108-87.

There was fear that the Knicks would struggle with their ball movement without Kidd, but on Wednesday, the Knicks had 18 assists and on Friday, they had 24 assists.

Benefitting the most from Kidd’s absence in the lineup is Steve Novak and Pablo Prigioni. In the last two games, Novak has averaged 35 minutes and Prigioni has averaged 26.5 minutes.

Carmelo Anthony has been getting the start at small forward with Kurt Thomas starting at power forward, but Thomas has seen just an average of six minutes in the last two games.

The Knicks like the idea of Anthony playing power forward, so Novak has been getting a chance to play more at small forward. The reason Novak hasn’t been starting is because he plays better when he comes off of the bench.

Ronnie Brewer had been starting at small forward prior to Kidd’s injury, but has switched to shooting guard to make up for his loss. He’s averaged seven points in the last two games, but his defensive presence is what the Knicks want most.

J.R. Smith is the player the Knicks rely on for scoring from the shooting guard position.

There were talks this offseason that Smith get a starting role in the future, but the Knicks prefer to keep him as a sixth man.

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