Kidd's small contributions make big impact

December, 16, 2012
12/16/12
12:49
AM ET
Jason KiddElsa/Getty ImagesMike Woodson says his point guard Jason Kidd has been the glue for the Knicks this season.
Jason Kidd's numbers weren't pretty through three quarters against Cleveland.

He missed eight of nine shots -- all from beyond the arc -- and had just three points entering the fourth.

But, as is always the case with Kidd, the numbers didn't tell the full story.

Once again, the 39-year-old made several key plays down the stretch for the Knicks in their one-point win over the Cavs.

"That's what J-Kidd do," Raymond Felton said. "He's, in my opinion, one of the best point guards to ever play this game and should be a Hall of Famer when he retires. I'm not surprised at all, I just love to watch it."

All season, Kidd has played a pivotal role for the Knicks; he's the chief reason New York (18-5) has the fewest turnovers in the league and one of the driving forces behind the Knicks' efficient and explosive offense.

"He's been the glue," Mike Woodson says.

Kidd played the role to perfection again on Saturday night.

With the Knicks up five early in the fourth, Kidd corralled a loose ball and, with his momentum taking him away from the basket and out of bounds, found Tyson Chandler for a layup.

On the Knicks' next possession, he found Chandler again for an alleyoop.

"I was just trying to find the open guy, help my teammates rebound the ball and get some easy baskets," Kidd said. "The game is not always about scoring."

But Kidd got back to scoring on the Knicks' next possession, hitting a three to give New York a 10-point lead with 8:30 to go.

Then, Kyrie Irving took over, pouring in 17 points in the next eight minutes to bring Cleveland back into it.

But Kidd was Kidd, a calming influence on the floor in times of tension and confusion.

He hit a three-pointer with New York up three and 3:40 to go. Then, with the Knicks up two with 40 seconds to play, Kidd found Chandler cutting to the rim. Chandler drew the foul and hit both free throws to give the Knicks a four-point edge.

They then sweated out Irving's shooting in the final 30 seconds and watched as Anderson Varejao missed at the free-throw line with a second to play. Then they walked off the floor with a win, their tenth straight home win to start the season.

Kidd finished 3-for-14 from the field, but that ugly stat didn't illustrate his impact.

"He can go 0-for-whatever every night," Steve Novak said. "Just to have him on the floor is so valuable."

Kidd's been showing his value all season for the Knicks. Saturday night was no different.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.7 3.2 0.9 36.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.2
StealsP. Prigioni 1.4
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2