Jason Kidd Is Helping J.R. Smith’s Game to Mature

By Dave Daniels
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen J.R. Smith develop this year into one of the top candidates for sixth man of the year. He will likely miss out on the award this year to Jordan Crawford. The reason for that development? You could point to Jason Kidd as a major factor in Smith’s development.

Kidd has struggled shooting the ball this year and coach Mike Woodson has started to use him more with the bench unit and less with the starters.

“I like to see it in his hands, but he’s going to realize too that he’s still going to have to play some minutes where he’s going to be in with Raymond or be in with Pablo, Woodson said. “And they are going to share running the team, which is OK, I think.”

Kidd’s impact though is felt more than just on the court. He has had a calming influence on the entire New York Knicks team and specifically J.R. Smith. His influence with Raymond Felton can be felt as well. The Knicks have been so patient in the passing game this year and Kidd has been a big part of that.

It will be interesting to see if Kidd’s impact extends to the playoffs. The Knicks know they will not be the favorite in the playoffs, but maybe underdog status will give them a nothing to lose attitude.

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