Jason Kidd doesn’t get paid to score.
He’s making $8 million this year because he can be a
leader and set his teammates up to be the best players possible.
When he gets 16 points, like he did on Sunday at Phoenix (with
eight of them coming early Monday morning, Dallas time, to win the game),
it’s an absolute bonus.
“This guy is a great winner,’’ coach Rick
Carlisle said. “When he steps on the floor, he’s going to do things
that help you win. Trying to quantify what stats are going to equal wins with
him, it just doesn’t work. Forget about scoring and shooting percentages
and all that stuff.’’
True that. Kidd has a strong passion for playing basketball
the right way. If the 3-point shot is wide-open, of course he’s going to
take it. He’s pretty good at that these days.
Beyond that, he’s going to run the team and set up his
buddies as best he can.
“My job is to set the table,’’ Kidd said
after his rapid-fire finish in Phoenix. “I could be selfish and shoot 10
or 15 times, and get my 12 or 15 points, but that’s not the makeup of
this team because we got too many guys who can score. My job is to knock down
open shots and get guys the ball and get them going.’’
The plain fact is that Kidd is every bit as valuable when he
gets double-figure assists as he is when he gets double-figure points.
The Mavericks are 19-5 when Kidd has double-figure assists.
They are 23-6 when he scores in double figures.
Not much difference there.
Basically, what it boils down to is that the Mavericks are
good when Kidd is good.
Geez, does that surprise anybody?