“He plays basketball like jazz,” his old coach, Byron Scott, once said, and if Kidd doesn’t always hit all the high notes any more now that he’s 21 days shy of his 40th birthday, there are nights he can still offer a riff or two that conjures a memory or three.
So last night he turned in 28 minutes and he got his uniform dirty on defense, he had five assists and a steal, and if the Wizards’ kid guards, Bradley Beal and John Wall, sometimes looked as if they could break and sprain both of his ankles whenever they pleased, he made life as difficult as possible for them.
“The old guy still has a trick or two up his sleeve,” Knicks forward Kurt Thomas said with a grin last night.”
Tommy DeeWith the Sloan conference going on at MIT this week I can appreciate an article like this even more. I’ve been saying this about Kidd for months and, while his shooting numbers are way down, he still makes the little plays night after night. Basketball has become a wasteland of metrics over the past year in my opinion and the nuances of the game are often ignored. Kidd’s lack of offense and eroding athleticism has been the source of many jokes around the blogosphere but Kidd’s ability to play the passing lanes and always be around the ball, on both sides, have created incredible value for this team. If you consider “win share per 48 minutes” an important number Kidd’s is .133 this year. That’s .33 points higher than the league average of 100.
It should come as no surprise. After all, the guy hasn’t missed the playoffs since 1996.