The New York Knicks offseason signing of Jason Kidd was originally viewed as one strictly as a leadership signing as Kidd was supposed to tutor the Knicks young guards.
He’s doing exactly that, but in the process has become one of the more productive Knicks players on the roster. The impact of him not being in uniform Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets was felt in a big way and now the Knicks will have to get by without him for at least one more game.
Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson confirmed Monday during his weekly appearance on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco” show that Kidd is day-to-day with back spasms and did not travel to Milwaukee for Wednesday night’s game.
Kidd has averaged 8.4 points, 3.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, but has a PER of 21.29, which shows his true value.
His absence was felt most by point guard Raymond Felton, who went 3-of-19 from the floor against the Nets. With Kidd playing next to Felton, it takes a lot of pressure off Felton’s shoulders. It also helps to have the extra ball handler out on the court. While Carmelo Anthony had a great game against the Nets, the ball didn’t move nearly as much as it usually does. The Knicks finished with only 14 assists on the night, including only four in the second half.
If you look at the advanced stats, the Knicks are a much better team with Kidd on the floor, to the point that a case can be made that he should remain the starting shooting guard all season, even when Iman Shumpert returns from injury.
The Knicks have scored 14 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. In addition, the Knicks’ true shooting percentage is eight percentage points higher with Kidd on the floor. The Knicks also average five more possessions per 48 minutes when he is playing.
While Kidd’s impact will be felt by him not playing, the news isn’t as bad for Ronnie Brewer, who dislocated his finger in the fourth quarter Monday night.
Brewer did travel with the team and Woodson said he will play against the Bucks with his hand taped.
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