Friday, February 29, 2008

J. Kidd: Future Hall of Famer and crunch time bench warmer?

I have been silent on the big half-the-Maverick-roster-for-Jason-Kidd trade that went down a few weeks ago. Enough ink and hot air have been expended debating this thing that I couldn't possibly add anything of substance to it.

For the record, I loved the trade.

I, like most of the Dallas-area basketball public, am stunned by what I witnessed last night, and it deserves some vitriol from me.

Can someone, anyone, explain why Jason Kidd, the greatest point guard of his generation, the guy you brought in here to close games, the QB Avery has been looking for, why this guy you just gave up half your team for was on the bench when you're down two points to the NBA champs with less than a minute left? Can someone please take me through the thought process on this one?

Avery's explanation (lifted directly from Tim MacMahon's blog post):

"Well, we were looking at spreading the floor with all of our shooters in the game," Avery said after TNT's Craig Sager asked the question on everybody's mind. "We wanted to put Stack, Josh and Jet, and that gave Dirk some more room to operate in those situations. And, just to show ... Dirk made some great moves in there, got his jersey pulled a couple of times. He battled, but our spacing was good, and that's what we were doing on that particular one."


Let's forget the not-too-subtle jab at the refs, which is apparently what most of the team spent the post-game griping about. I'm all for giving Dirk some room, and getting the shooters in the game, namely Terry, Howard, and Stackhouse, makes sense also. But, come on. I believe (forget that, I know) Avery himself waxed euphoric about Kidd's ability to deliver at crunch time during the press conference right after the trade.

So, how about it, Avery?

Even Barkley was stunned.

An aside: One the the best things about Kidd, in my opinion, is his relationship with most of the refs in the league. Unlike way too many of his teammates, along with way too many people in the Mavs organization, he doesn't waste time whining about calls. I can't stand that about this team. Bitching about the refs is for losers.

Well, I didn't really expect the Mavs to go into San Antonio and win. They came awfully darn close, which is encouraging. But the rap on Avery from his detractors is that he's a control freak who won't cede offensive decision making to anyone, even a guy with Kidd's rep and resume. Last night's actions sorta seem to back that up...

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