- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Earlier today, we took a look at why the Knicks' success in the second half rests largely with Carmelo Anthony.
It would also help if Jason Kidd started hitting shots.
Whether it was a case of fatigue or a run-of-the-mill shooting slump, Kidd struggled prior to the All-Star break.
In his 10 games before to the break, Kidd averaged just 3.3 points per game in 22.5 minutes. He shot an abysmal 18.4 percent from beyond the arc (7-for-38).
After Kidd went scoreless in 32 minutes against Toronto last Wednesday, Mike Woodson hinted that the 39-year-old needed to recalibrate during the break. Woodson also left open the possibility of replacing Kidd with Ronnie Brewer in the starting lineup.
"He's missed some good shots here as of late, some really open shots," Woodson said of Kidd. "He'll make them eventually."
Kidd has struggled with his shot for nearly two months.
In the past 28 games, Kidd hit just 30 percent of his 3-pointers. In the Knicks' first 22 games, Kidd shot an eye-popping 52 percent from beyond the arc.
In some ways, Kidd's shooting can be correlated directly to the Knicks' offense.
When Kidd's knocking down shots, it improves the Knicks' spacing; defenses are forced to rotate and close out on him beyond the arc. Kidd can use that to the Knicks' advantage by either taking the shot or passing it up for a better look.
The Knicks' offensive output is markedly better when Kidd's shooting well. During his hot shooting start over New York's first 22 games, the Knicks posted an offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions) of 111. They hit 45 percent of their field goals and 41 percent of their 3-pointers.
During Kidd's cold streak (the last 28 games), the Knicks' efficiency has dipped to 107.1. They are shooting 44 percent from the floor in that span, including just 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
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3dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann