Jason Kidd again was in the starting lineup for Sunday night's 99-93 win over Philadelphia. The question is how much longer he will continue to be there.

The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer played a significant role in the Knicks' early success this season. Through December, Kidd averaged 9.0 points and turned himself into a surprising outside shooting threat by hitting 44.3 percent of his three-pointers.

Heading into Sunday night's game, however, Kidd was averaging only 3.0 points in the month of February and had attempted fewer three-pointers (35) than he made in the month of December, when he was 36-for-86.

Despite the Knicks' victory, Kidd continued to struggle offensively. In 26 minutes, he scored three points and shot 1-for-7, including 0-for-6 from three-point range.

Before the game, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he has noticed that Kidd has been tentative lately, passing up shots that the team would like him to take.

"When you go through struggles of not making shots, you tend to back away and not be aggressive," Woodson said in his pregame news conference. "Like I told him, he's made big shots for us. He's been capable of making big shots over his career. I don't want him to stop. Those are good shots he's passing up on. He's got to take them."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Kidd looked as though he had gotten a message to be aggressive early in the game, scrambling for three rebounds in the first minute and a half and missing a three-pointer on the Knicks' third possession. But his aggressiveness quickly faded as the few shots he took continued to be off the mark.

Woodson likes Kidd's defensive play on the perimeter and his general court savvy, which might be the biggest reason he continues to stick with him.

Earlier in the season, when Raymond Felton was injured, Woodson had to play the almost-40-year-old more than he would have liked. At Sunday's shootaround, Woodson conceded that it could have taken its toll on him and that it might be time to cut back his minutes.

"Earlier on, he was initiating offense, freelancing and shooting a little more," Woodson said. "We went through that stretch when Raymond was out and he had to do so much and I think it burned him some.

"I need him to get back to facilitating a little bit . . . I think it would help our offense a little more."