For the Knicks, bringing in a veteran (and Hall of Fame bound) player like Jason Kidd was necessary on many levels.
After spending the second half of last season riding or dying on Jeremy Lin, it was obvious a stable floor general was crucial.
Kidd represents a number of things Lin does not. Perhaps most importantly, he’s one of the most experienced players in all of the NBA. As a recent NBA champion, he knows how to win, and understands how to do it on a consistent basis. After playing the same role, elevating each and every team he’s been on, it’s safe to say Kidd knows how to be a leading man on both ends of the floor.
With so many offensive weapons in their team’s arsenal, someone to help the Knicks connect the dots surely comes in handy. Kidd came to the Big Apple with his playmaking ability and veteran presence standing as two of the bigger (and more obvious) benefits to acquiring him.
But as he’s helped pace the Knickerbockers to a perfect 4-0 start, Kidd has been playing a complete game, full with contributions on both sides of the floor.
As one of the best floor generals to ever play in the league, the veteran’s playmaking ability and good instincts were a given. But after a slower campaign in Dallas last season, many had wondered if the 39 year old Kidd had already begun to lose a step or two.
Not a chance. Kidd has been a major X-Factor for the Knicks in the early goings of the season thus far. And though he’s one of the elder statesmen in all of the NBA, he’s been clamping down on defense and pestering opponents.
Whether it be to Lin or Raymond Felton, Kidd was signed with the thought that he would serve as a backup in mind. That said, he’s been called upon to start at two-guard as a couple of his new teammates deal with injuries.
Playing the future Hall of Famer in the starting lineup has created an interesting dynamic for New York. Though Coach Mike Woodson has still managed to limit Kidd’s minutes to 20.5 minutes per contest, inserting him in earlier during the game has already pitted him against some of the league’s better offensive guards.
During the Knicks’ matchup against the Mavericks on Friday, a switch called for Kidd to chase down O.J. May on defense. It was a change that made all the difference, as the floor general’s intensity helped slow Mayo (and eventually, his team) down.
Everyone around the league knows Jason Kidd the playmaker all too well. But following last season in Dallas, many wondered if Kidd’s time was running out.
Instead, as he helps propel the Knicks’ efforts during their hot start, his opponents are getting to know Jason Kidd, the hard-nosed defender, all over again as well.