Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Opening Tip: Should Kidd come off bench?
By Ian Begley
Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: How should the Knicks use Jason Kidd going forward?
Jason Kidd felt "fresh" after playing 35 minutes in the Knicks' loss to Brooklyn on Monday.
Should Jason Kidd come off the bench when Raymond Felton returns?
"It’s no problem," Kidd said after playing his highest minutes total in more than a month. "We just came off a week of one game, so I feel fresh and ready to go. I have to prepare for Boston."
Kidd's health is key for Mike Woodson.
For a while during Raymond Felton's absence, Kidd looked a bit sluggish. It seemed like the extended minutes at point guard were wearing on the 39-year-old.
Having Felton back should remedy that.
Felton hasn't yet gone through a contact practice but he's still hopeful to come back Saturday in Philadelphia.
It will be interesting how Felton's return impacts Kidd.
Woodson could choose to bring Kidd off the bench and start Felton and Shumpert in the back court. In that scenario, Carmelo Anthony would likely play small forward with Amar'e Stoudemire (or another power forward) starting alongside Tyson Chandler.
Woodson could also choose to keep Kidd in the starting lineup and play him alongside Felton. In that lineup, Shumpert would likely start at small forward and Anthony could remain at power forward.
I think this is the way Woodson will play it, though he would be wise to keep Kidd's minutes down in February and March. He can do this by playing J.R. Smith more frequently.
With Kidd, it's always wise to take the long view.
It's more important to have him fresh in April and for the postseason than it is to have him play 35-plus minutes in a game in late February, isn't it?
Question: How do you think Woodson should use Kidd once Felton returns? Should Kidd come off the bench? Or should he remain in the starting lineup?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.