With J.R. Smith severely under the weather and not shooting the ball very well the past six games, the New York Knicks need to find some scoring in other areas.
That means the likes of Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, Chris Copeland, Steve Novak and Amar’e Stoudemire must all play big roles at the offensive end of the floor if the Knicks are to have any chance of tying up their second round series against the Indiana Pacers.
But more importantly it means that Jason Kidd needs to step up and do what he was brought to the Big Apple to do- lead this team.
While this is certainly Carmelo Anthony’s team, Kidd needs to step up and be the leader right now. While Kidd’s leadership is something that has never been questioned throughout his career, he has always been the type of player that does what it takes to win.
In this case it means Kidd stepping up and knocking down some shots.
Kidd has not scored a point in seven straight playoff games. He failed to score in just two games that he played in his entire playoff career entering this postseason.
In addition, Kidd is the only player in NBA history to play at least 10 minutes in six straight playoff games and fail to score in any of them.
The 10-time All-Star and surefire Hall-of-Famer averaged 6.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals over 26.9 minutes per game this season, showing great prowess as a 3-point shooter and on-ball defender in head coach Mike Woodson‘s system. From long range, Kidd shot 35 percent.
However, outside of his streaky three-point game, Kidd’s offense was pretty much nonexistent all year. Rarely did he capitalize on opportunities to drive the lane for an open layup or even, on occasion, take a wide-open three.
It appears that in the twilight of his professional career, he has lost a bit of his confidence on the offensive side of the floor.
There’s no better time than Tuesday’s Game 4 to get that confidence back.
Kidd hasn’t knocked down a shot from the floor since Game 2 of the Celtics series, a span that covers close to 185 minutes of court time.
He’s missed his last 15 attempts from the floor and for the Knicks to advance; they are going to have to get something from Kidd offensively. If he doesn’t step up and deliver, not only will the Knicks see an end to their season, but Kidd’s Hall of Fame career could come to a quick end as well.
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