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Monday, April 18, 2011
Kidd's 3s could force Miller to rethink help

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Andre Miller is 35 years old, just three years younger than Jason Kidd, but his memory of Kidd's early days must seem fuzzy.

"My friends talked about when he came into the league he wasn't a shooter," Miller said, as if needing anecdotal material for recall. "But, he's still shooting the ball. I think he's up there all-time 3-pointers (3rd in NBA), so I'm aware of that. It's just that you still want to be able to pressure him and then help defense and then contest his shot. I think after the first couple of shots, he just let it go after that, just let it go and some other shots came. He knew that the team needed a little bit of offense with other guys not being in a rhythm."

Kidd provided the offensive lift the Dallas Mavericks desperately needed, scoring 24 points. He hit six of Dallas' 10 3-point attempts. Kidd has had two similar games this season. He scored 21 points with five 3-pointers in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 19, and he scored 20 points and hit 6-of-7 from 3-point range in a win over the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 16.

Portland can hope that Kidd's Game 2 is more like his outings in the regular season after his 20-point outburst. In the two games combined, he scored 14 points and went 5-of-15 from the floor.

Miller said if he makes defensive changes, it will be sticking closer to Kidd at the arc and less drifting to help on Dirk Nowitzki when he gets the ball around the free throw line. That could be good news for Nowitzki, who was frustrated through three quarters with 10 points and no free throw attempts. That, of course, changed in the fourth quarter, when he scored 13 of his 18 points at the line.

"I think I over-helped a little bit as far as off of Jason Kidd and allowing him to just take those 3s," Miller said. "He got a couple when the shot clock was running down. It's just being more aware defensively."