Check the obituary. Look on both sides of the full page Kobe obit and you won’t see a word about J Kidd being dead. Why? Because he isn’t. And, he may be playing on the best team he’s ever been on as a 16 year NBA pro. Forget about “Triple J Ranch” with Jimmy Jackson and Jamal Mashburn. In Kidd’s first incarnation in Dallas, he was supposed to lead them to the NBA Promised Land; which is exactly what he’s doing NOW.
Jason Kidd is having his best postseason since 2006-07 when he was the New Jersey Nets, averaging a triple double a game. What’s really interesting though is the fact he is only playing 33.6 minutes per game (a career playoff low), giving way to a red hot JJ Barea.
In his 16th year and at 38 years old, Kidd is still running the show, dictating the flow of the game while he’s in. Stats don’t really tell the full story of how Kidd contributes to a team or a game, and never have adequately, but his post season averages of 10.1 ppg, 7.2 apg, and 4.2 rpg show the kind of well-rounded impact he’s having which is what the Mavs expect of a season leader like Kidd. Remember when the knock on Kidd was that he couldn’t hit the outside shot consistently enough for opposing defenses to respect him, and avoid having them sag off into the lane? Amazingly, he’s now made the third most three pointers in NBA history, behind Reggie Miller and Ray Allen.
Kidd’s regular season production was sorely lacking and a lot of people were whispering that he may be done. Ultimately, all good things come to an end, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver- Does anyone else find it weird she never took his last name? Is it that hard to spell? And unfortunately for J Kidd from the town O-A-K, his stats backed up that assertion that he was finished, like the aforementioned couples marriage.
His statistical productivity during the season is what had everyone nervous. The 7.9 ppg he averaged was the lowest of his career, as were his minutes per game (33.2), steals (1.7) and rebounds (4.4). But, he still averaged 8.2 assists per game which is pretty remarkable considering the lack of minutes. Point guard is one of the few positions in the NBA where you can age gracefully and survive longer as a facilitator, like a kicker in the NFL. And J Kidd knows where his bread is buttered, feeding the Dirk Nowitzki’s, Jason Terry’s and Shawn Marion’s of the world rather than focus on his own production.
The other thing is that after sweeping the Lakers, Dallas suddenly looks deep. And based on that it becomes evident that Kidd isn’t producing less; rather he’s playing more in the flow of the game and offense getting the seven or eight guys coming off the bench involved immediately.
J Kidd has seen his career evolve full circle; from rookie of the year phenom, to cagey vet on a deep squad showing everyone what a true professional looks like. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban sits backs with his hands folded behind his head and laughs…..and pays for everything with hundreds.
image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison