Is there ever too much rest for Jason Kidd?
April, 25, 2012
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS -- We won't know if Jason Kidd is going to play in the Mavericks' regular-season finale at Atlanta until Thursday morning's shootaround, but no one seems to think it matters one way or the other.
The Hawks will be out to win this one to secure the home-court edge in a first-round series with the Boston Celtics. The Mavs have nothing to play for other than if they want to try to manipulate the first-round matchups, although the Denver Nuggets control that aspect starting with the first of their final two games tonight at Oklahoma City tonight.
"He’s gone through two hard days of practices so it’s all about the right combination of both," coach Rick Carlisle said. "Either way it’s fine, it’s good. There’s a buildup. Rest can accumulate, sort of recharging the tank, and that’s what I think we’ve done here. Going forward, whether he plays or doesn’t play tomorrow, I think he’s going to be in good shape for the playoffs."
Asked if he has a preference of playing or sitting, Kidd said, "Well, Dirk feels I play better when I rest. … So if that’s the case, I don’t mind the rest. The rhythm and all of that, that’s just basketball."
Last season, Kidd took off two games from April 4-9 after a brutal road trip in which he was physically dragging. He played in the Mavs' final three games in four nights with then two days off before the start of the first round. Those six days off, Kidd said, energized him for the playoffs and it showed with two high-scoring games against Portland.
"That was huge, especially coming off of the six [games] in 10 days [on the road] trip and then playing until the end of June," Kidd said. "So that week off gave me the chance to rest up and make the burst that we did, so hopefully we can get the same result this year."
Kidd acknowledged that he got off to a bad start because he "wasn't quite ready to play at the beginning of the season," and he dealt with back, calf and groin injuries. His season minutes are at a career-low 28.7.
If he doesn't play Thursday at Atlanta, he will head into Game 1 of the playoffs on Saturday or Sunday not having competed since a 22-minute stint against Golden State on April 20.
"I feel great in practice and we’ve had two great practices the last two days and I feel great physically," Kidd said. "We don’t know the plan for tomorrow until we get to Atlanta and talk about it."