Jason Kidd says it's his job to make other guys better, not score
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Jason Kidd is mired in the worst scoring slump of his career, but that alone is not enough for Mike Woodson to drastically cut his playing time.
Kidd, 40, has gone eight games without scoring a point, a drought that's come at a time when the Knicks are struggling for offense during their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers.
But the Knicks coach said that Kidd, despite the lack of scoring, does too many other positive things on the court to warrant his playing time.
"My thing is, I think he still does some of the intangibles that might not show up in terms of scoring the ball to help you win," Woodson said Wednesday after practice.
The last time Kidd scored came in the first quarter in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Boston Celtics, on April 23. He's missed all 17 of his field-goal attempts since then.
But Woodson has stuck by Kidd. When Woodson went with a bigger starting lineup in Game 4, he not only benched Pablo Prigioni, he also dropped Prigioni behind Kidd on the depth chart.
In 16 minutes, Kidd shot 0-for-3, but had three assists, one steal and one rebound. Prigioni played only three minutes.
"I will never kick J-Kidd to the curb, man," Woodson said. "He has been a positive for our club, our franchise, our players that play around him."
But the Knicks are 20-6 when Prigioni starts, playoffs included, and Woodson said there's "a strong chance" he'll go back to the small lineup that includes Prigioni and point guard Ray Felton.
Whatever he decides, he made it clear Kidd's role in the rotation is not in jeopardy because of his scoring woes.
Kidd wasn't available to speak with reporters after practice, but he said after Game 4 that his focus is on helping the offensive flow, not scoring.
"I'm not a guy who's going to score," he said. "My job is to make other guys better. If the ball doesn't go in that doesn't dictate my game. It's always been trying to find the open guy, make a play for my teammates."
Although Kidd has never been known as a scorer, he's also never been through a drought like this.
Before this season, Kidd had never gone scoreless in back-to-back games in the regular season. That happened three times.
In 146 playoff games before this season, he'd only gone scoreless twice. And here Kidd has gone eight straight games -- 177 minutes -- without a point.
Even he's stumped.
"For some odd reason, the ball just doesn't go in for me right now," Kidd said. "Got to keep shooting it."