If the Mavericks are to survive while Dirk Nowitzki is out, Jason Kidd has to play a little different style of Oakland basketball than he has been playing. Rather than be like Magic Johnson and look for the pass first, Kidd has to be a little more like his mentor Gary Payton, who like Kidd grew up in Oakland and was five years older.
Kidd did that against Denver Thursday with 19 points, 15 assists and five steals in the 118-105 loss in Denver. In three losses to the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs last week, Kidd totaled 10 points, 21 assists and four steals
“Gary was the best,” Kidd said of Payton's ability to be a scoring point guard. “That’s why I became a good defender because he always shot the ball and I had to defend against him a lot in pickup games. He’s told me over and over to look to be aggressive to score. I don’t know if I can get to that level, but I have to look to get the shots cause if I’m open, I’ve got to take them.”
-- Jan Hubbard