Kidd a constant in up-and-down stretch

Jason Kidd has provided steady, veteran leadership for the Knicks this season.

The Knicks are in the midst of an up and down stretch, as they’ve played under .500 basketball (5-6) since their Dec. 17 loss to Jeremy Lin and the Rockets. 

The one constant, however, has been the play of Jason Kidd. The 39-year-old point guard won’t go for big numbers like MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony, but Kidd has shot the ball well enough that if opposing defenses sag off of him just a little, he’s capable of making them pay. 
 
The savvy veteran has been around the NBA long enough to know that even if he’s not lighting up the scoreboard, there are other ways to hurt opponents.   

“The game isn’t always about scoring,” said Kidd, who is averaging 8.7 points per game. “It’s also about leading through other ways, whether it’s finding the open guy, or helping my guys rebound the ball, or getting some deflections, so we can get some easy baskets.” 
 
Kidd has done a little of everything this season, whether it’s starting at shooting guard alongside Raymond Felton, or filling in for Felton while he heals from a fractured pinkie. He was never known as even a decent shooter, but Kidd has successfully remade his game late in his career enough that he’s now a respectable spot-up 3-point shooter (a career-high .440 percent this season). He’s also one of the Knicks’ best closers, as was evident in a game-winning shot in Brooklyn on Dec. 11 and the game-icing 3-pointer last Saturday night in Orlando. 
 
The 6-foot-4 point guard has also been a serviceable rebounder (4.3 per game). He’s fourth on the team in that category, and has done an admirable job defending younger and faster point guards. He currently averages a team-high 1.8 steals per game as well.    
 
Perhaps no one on the Knicks knows Kidd better than center Tyson Chandler, who won a ring as teammates in Dallas following the 2009-10 season.
 
“He does it every single time,” said Chandler, when asked about Kidd’s best quality. “I say it all the time that it must sound like a tape recorder, because he does it with a steal, 3-pointer or something. … He always seems to make the big play.”

J.R. Smith, who’s second on the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game, has been lauded for playing under more control this season, and besides the guidance of head coach Mike Woodson, the swingman also credits Kidd for his influence.

“J-Kidd is unbelievable. He makes sure we’re always calm, even when we’re in a hostile environment, or sitting on the bench all game, or blowing leads,” Smith said. “He communicates with everyone so well, and shows the confidence in everyone, that they go out and play so well and worry-free.”  

Knicks notes

» Woodson acknowledged that team doctors have urged him to cut back Amar’e Stoudemire’s minutes, as the former all-star power forward is still finding his way into the flow of things following a debridement procedure on his left knee back in October. Stoudemire, who has been logging 20.5 minutes per game, has done well on the offensive end in his four games back, averaging 10 points on .452 percent shooting from the field. Woodson, though, said he’ll better monitor his forward’s minutes: “He was probably a little sore and that’s probably the reason for [limiting his minutes]. So I’ve got to be open-minded to that and do what’s asked. That’s the right thing to do.” 

Woodson added that he “shouldn’t have” played Stoudemire a season-high 28 minutes in the Knicks’ 102-96 loss to the Celtics, Monday night.   

» Iman Shumpert could be back as early as next week, as the second-year shooting guard has been working with the team in 3-on-3 drills at the facilities and has even been seen dunking under team supervision. 

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.