Jason Kidd used to be boss. He's still a defensive mastermind, but the NBA’s second all-time assists leader is shooting like a henchman in a bad action movie. He can't hit a basket to save his life.
In four games against Indiana, Kidd has averaged 19 minutes and missed all seven of his field goal attempts, but Kidd’s offensive ineptitude dates back even further than the Pacers series.
Kidd hasn’t scored a point since Game 2 of their first round bout with the Boston Celtics. The world has changed much since Jason Kidd last scored a point. Jason Collins came out of the closet, the Thunder have been dethroned as Western Conference champs and Drake brought Dada back.
There have been 32 scoreless streaks of at least eight games, but none have come from a player to play even a third of Kidd's minutes.
Kidd’s struggles have exasperated the Knicks' shooting woes while JR Smith can’t buy a bucket. However, Woodson remains committed to starting two point guards because it’s their most effective lineup.
“I will never kick J-Kidd to the curb. Kidd has been a positive for our club, our franchise, the players who play around him and we all still believe in Kidd,” Woodson said. “He still does some of the intangibles that might not show up as scoring that help you win.”
“I’m not a guy who’s going to score,” Kidd said after the Game 4 loss Tuesday. “If the ball doesn’t go in, that doesn’t dictate my game. It’s always been trying to find the open guy and make a play for my teammates, and when there’s a shot presented, take it.”
Even though he’s the third most prolific three-point shooter in NBA history, Kidd’s stroke is broken. At this stage in his career, he’s strictly a spot-up shooter, while the Pacers are the best in the league at defending the three-point line. The Knicks three-point shooting is coming back to haunt them. They lived by the three against Indy, and now they’re dying by the three.
Now’s not the time to abandon what’s working for them, but Kidd’s minutes may need to get dialed down. Felton and Prigioni have discovered how to make it work in the postseason, and the Knicks are running out of time. He's getting up there in age, so maybe he needs glasses, but the most disconcerting aspect of Kidd’s declining skills are that he has two years left on his contract. The Lin-sanity heyday isn't looking too bad right about now.