Jason Kidd has shown his age, all 39 years of it, in Raymond Felton’s absence. At his age, it is unfair to expect consistently high minutes and production from the future Hall-of-Famer, but Kidd has got to improve his play for the New York Knicks.
He is averaging 28.8 minutes per game in January, and is only shooting 31.7% from the field. Kidd’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 3.7:2 over the course of New York’s last seven games, as he has split time as the primary ball handler with Pablo Prigioni (35 years old).
Kidd has become a defensive liability for the Knicks, however. Felton and Prigioni can keep their men in front of them for the most part, but young guards like Damian Lillard just blow right by Kidd. With Iman Shumpert cleared to return to action earlier this week (he could return as early as Thursday), Kidd will have to play less on-ball defense, as Shumpert is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Perhaps Kidd would prefer to play fewer minutes than coach Mike Woodson is currently asking of him, but with Felton out (hand injury, 4-6 weeks) and Prigioni not much of an offensive threat, the Knicks need Kidd on the floor.
One thing that can be said of Kidd, regardless of his age, is that his brain remains intact as one of the elite basketball minds in the NBA today. After his playing days are over, Kidd could find himself on the sidelines of an NBA team. But, until then, Kidd needs to improve his play for the slumping Knicks (24-13).