NEW YORK -- From what Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has seen from afar, New York point guard Jason Kidd has already put his indelible stamp on the Knicks.
With Kidd running the show, the Knicks look more focused and more in control of things on the court. In fact, Kidd's veteran influence may be the reason the Knicks (3-0) are the NBA's only undefeated team.
"It's clear to me from watching three games on film that Jason Kidd has had a great influence on their overall toughness, awareness as a team and just how they do things,'' Carlisle said. "So it's not surprising.''
This is Carisle's first year coaching the Mavs without Kidd, who joined the Mavs in 2008 and was all set to sign a free agent contract this past offseason to remain in Dallas and finish his career with the Mavs. But at the last minute Kidd upset owner Mark Cuban when he surprisingly changed his mind and decided to sign a three-year, $9 million contract with the Knicks.
"You're talking about guys in the history of this league that has the ability to affect winning in unique ways,'' Carlisle said of Kidd. "He's the best I've ever seen.
"He does it in so many differemt ways. He does it by helping out defensively, he does it by doing things in a timely way offensively, and he does it with an unbelievable resourcefulness and creativity in likes in which I've never seen.''
The Mavs will get their first look at Kidd in a Knicks uniform when the two teams collide at 6:30 tonight at Madison Square Garden.
-- Dwain Price
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