For everybody who feels that the Mavericks' players and staff are too optimistic about their chances moving forward, Jason Kidd has some ammunition to fire at you.
Mostly, he said Wednesday, it's a matter of nobody knowing what will happen in the future. Just because it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers are no-brainer to breeze through the Western Conference playoffs, that doesn't make it automatic.
"You could say that with maybe two teams in the Eastern Conference,'' Kidd said. "But the big thing is you just never know. You play it out and put yourself in position. Look at San Antonio. Nobody's really talking about them, but they're playing great basketball. New Orleans makes a trade that may change their outlook. Houston, Tracy goes down. So you never know. Somebody could get hurt and the opportunity is there for you to get to the Finals. That's all you can ask for.''
Media members from New York and New Jersey who follow the Nets were predictably interested in Kidd on Wednesday at the Mavericks' shootaround. Rick Carlisle told them the same thing he's been telling us all season.
"Tremendous,'' he said of Kidd. "We have a lot of statistical data available to us and in terms of his impact to us, he grades out as a top-five player in the league in terms of his impact on our overall team. He's been great at both ends of the floor, leadership and all that stuff. I don't know where we'd be without him.''