Saturday, January 7, 2012
Updated: January 9, 10:21 AM ET
Jason Kidd to miss Mavs' road trip
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Point guard Jason Kidd sat out Saturday's 96-81 win against the New Orleans Hornets, and he will miss at least the Dallas Mavericks' two-game road trip that starts Tuesday with a lower back injury, coach Rick Carlisle said Saturday night.
"We don't believe it's a real serious thing," Carlisle said before the game. "But we're going to err on the side of caution with it."
Kidd injured his back during the first quarter of Friday's blowout loss at the San Antonio Spurs. He left the game with about 24 seconds to play and headed straight to the locker room with head athletic trainer Casey Smith.
The game was the Mavs' sixth in eight nights. Owner Mark Cuban said he believes the compacted schedule is going to result in increased injuries across the league.
"It's no surprise when J-Kidd goes down. Training camps are there for a reason," Cuban said. "You've seen a lot of injuries around the league and who knows whether they're directly related or not, but you have to deal with whatever comes around."
During the team's Saturday morning shootaround, Carlisle said Kidd's status beyond Saturday's game was uncertain. In the six hours afterward, the prognosis changed to at least three games.
Kidd, who turns 39 in March, had not sat out more than two games in each of the last six seasons.
Carlisle continued to keep mum regarding his plans for replacing Kidd, but Delonte West started at point guard against the Hornets. West was signed prior to the season to primarily serve as Kidd's backup, but he has started at shooting guard in the last seven games, having replaced Vince Carter to start the second half of the season opener.
Carter made his first start since the opener at shooting guard for the Mavs.
Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois -- and possibly second-year combo guard and former first-round pick Dominique Jones -- will inherit some of the load, with Lamar Odom in the mix as a point forward.
"You lose a guy like Jason Kidd for a game, that's tough," Carlisle said after the morning shootaround. "The guy's been an anchor. He's been kind of always there. He's just been a steadying force. So, now we've got to make up for it with other guys. It's a challenge that's going to be a good challenge for us."
Carlisle and Cuban both reiterated their belief that Kidd's injury is not serious. He will be re-evaluated when the Mavs return from their road trip Thursday and prior to next Friday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
"Hopefully, we'll use it to our advantage," Cuban said of Kidd's injury. "We'll get the chance to see some younger guys or get some different lineups. With this kind of schedule we were going to have to rest these guys anyway, so this kind of forces some rest."
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.