<
>

Kidd understands Popovich resting players

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks and Spurs are similar in many ways. They have many veterans, play unselfishly and get after it on defense. They are both very efficient offensively and only have four losses this season.

But what the Knicks haven't done yet is send their star players home just to get some rest. That's what Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and even Danny Green to do before his team faced the Heat Thursday night in Miami.

The Knicks are the oldest team in the NBA with an average age of 31.6. They were asked about Popovich's decision after Monday morning's shootaround.

For starters, coach Mike Woodson wouldn't comment about considering it. "I don't want to get into that. I can't question nothing," he said. "Pop has had a hell of a career. That's his team and they do what they've got to do over there, and we'll worry about what we've got to do in New York."

But Jason Kidd, 39, one of the oldest players in the league, said it "was great" what Popovich did with his lineup.

"He's the coach of that team," Kidd said. "He has every right to do what he feels right for the team, if it's an older team. I did the same thing in Dallas (in 2011). We took a week off before the playoffs, before we made that run. And it helped us win a championship. I think Pop has every right."

Carmelo Anthony was more tongue-in-cheek about the situation. "I would love that for Woody to tell us to go home on eight out of 10 games," he jokingly said. "I would love that. I would definitely love that. But I don’t expect that from Woody."

PABLO'S PUNCH: With Kidd set to miss his third straight game on Friday night against the Wizards, expect more production from Pablo Prigioni. He finished with 11 points and seven assists in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

Anthony and Chandler were familiar with Prigioni during the Olympics, when he was the starting point guard for the Argentine national team. They know the 35-year-old point guard, who's been excelling in pick-and-rolls and ball hawking defenders, would fill in well when his number was called.

"He’s run the show in Argentina. He’s running the show here," Anthony commented. "He understands how to play the game. Pablo did a great job, especially in the Milwaukee game, running the offense, putting guys in the right spots, controlling the tempo. That's something we know he can do."

"That's the thing I've been saying throughout the entire year. This team is very deep in every position," Chandler said. "There's one or two guys in some positions, and in some positions there are three guys that can come fill a role. Pablo is a very savvy vet. And that's the reason why they acquired him this offseason."

MELO MVP TALK: With the Knicks off to a 10-4 start, and playing well on both ends of the floor, Anthony is already in the Most Valuable Player conversation. But that's not on his mind.

"We're what 10-4, 14 games (in)," he said. "I ain't thinking about that."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.