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Friday, January 27, 2012
Pregame buzz: Can Jason Kidd pull a J.J. Barea?

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- It is true that a handful of Jason Kidd's 3-point attempts of late, as coach Rick Carlisle pointed out, have come on late shot clock heaves.

It hasn't gone unnoticed by Kidd either.

"They’re just trying to test my temper right now, my patience," Kidd said the other day. "It comes with the territory."

It might be true, but it certainly doesn't wipe away the fact that Kidd has been awful from beyond the 3-point arc. Entering tonight's game against the Utah Jazz, Kidd is 17-of-66 from long range for a career-low 25.8 percent. Now, one might think he could make up for such a low percentage by making most of his shots inside the arc. Unfortunately for Kidd, only 12 of his 78 shots on the season are 2s and only five of those have gone down.

Kidd, the Mavs hope, might have had a bit of a breakthrough Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves when he made 2-of-5 from 3-point range. It was the first time he had made more than one since Dec. 30.

Carlisle brought up an interesting comparison to J.J. Barea's massive 3-point turnaround last season. We'll just have to wait and see if Kidd, averaging just 4.3 points a game to this point, follows suit.

"The guy was 5-for-50 in December," Carlisle said of Barea, who at the time ranked dead last in the league in shooting the 3-ball. "We said, hey, stay aggressive, take good shots and just keep going. Well, Dec. 17 he hit a shot, there was a bit of a celebration amongst the team, then he went on to be the best 3-point shooter in the league for two months.

"So you've got to have the right kind of amnesia to play in this league, and particularly this kind of season because there's different things going on. You've got to know what to ignore."

Barea finished last season making 34.9 percent of this 3-pointers.