Kidd Numbers & FIBA Notes
Henry Abbott did a fine job of compiling some numbers which show that Devin Harris may possibly be a more valuable asset than Jason Kidd at this point in time.
I'd like to supplement those stats with some numbers that I put together regarding Nets team defense. I think the conventional wisdom among NBA fans is that Kidd drastically improved New Jersey's offense when he arrived in 2001-02.
In fact, even though Stephon Marbury isn't in the same league as J-Kidd as a floor general, he *did* give the Nets 23.9 pts and 7.6 ast in 2000-01 (yeah, it's true - I double- and triple-checked those numbers to be sure!). Starbury's big edge in PPG and FG% made him relatively comparable to Kidd offensively at the time. Defense is where Kidd was vastly superior, and where NJ showed enormous improvement after the Kidd-Marbury trade.
Take a look at NJ's rankings in offensive and defensive efficiency before and after the trade:
- '99-00 - Off 10th (105.1), Def 22nd (106.3)
'00-01 - Off 24th (100.0), Def 23rd (105.5)
***** Marbury traded for Kidd *****
'01-02 - Off 17th (104.0), Def 1st (99.5)
'02-03 - Off 18th (103.8), Def 1st (98.9)
'03-04 - Off 25th (100.8), Def 4th (98.0)
'04-05 - Off 26th (101.4), Def 6th (103.1)
'05-06 - Off 25th (103.9), Def 3rd (102.4)
Now look what's happened the last two years:
- '06-07 - Off 16th (105.7), Def 15th (106.6)
'07-08 - Off 25th (101.9), Def 23rd (108.3)
Still, the facts are that Jason Kidd used to be an elite defensive guard, and he is no longer one. Devin Harris is a very good and very quick on-ball defender. Considering that Dallas could run into Messrs. Parker, Nash, Paul, et al come May/June, that would be an even greater concern to me from the Mavs' perspective than wondering whether Kidd's .366 FG% and 3.7 TOs are a sign of decline or disenchantment with his current situation.
I do not think I would trade for the 34-year-old Kidd if it meant giving up the 24-year-old Harris. Certainly, the age factor is mitigated by the fact that Dallas is competing for a championship right now. I'm just not sure that Kidd suits the team's needs better than Harris at this point in their respective careers.
And if I were the Lakers, I would not trade for Kidd if it meant giving up Lamar Odom. L.A.'s future looks bright, with Kobe at age 29, Odom at age 28 and Andrew Bynum at 20. To sub Kidd - about to turn 35 - in for Lamar seriously shortens L.A.'s window to develop into a championship contender in my opinion.
Age matters, man. So many folks were aghast that Mitch Kupchak refused to pull the trigger on a Kidd deal last year, because it would have cost him Bynum. How does that decision look now, just one year later? How does Chicago's decision to sign 32-year-old Ben Wallace (met with near universal acclaim) at the expense of 24-year-old Tyson Chandler look now?
A little international basketball news yesterday, as FIBA came out with the draw for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July in Athens. 12 teams will be competing for the three last spots in the Beijing field.
Here are the four preliminary round groups:
Group A: Brazil, Greece and Lebanon
Group B: Cape Verde, Germany and New Zealand
Group C: Canada, Korea and Slovenia
Group D: Cameroon, Croatia and Puerto Rico
The top two from each group will advance to the quarterfinals, and it's single elimination from there.
We're going to stick with our predictions from last fall for now, and go with these teams to grab the three berths:
Greece should be a mortal lock now that the tournament is in Athens, and Slovenia should have a talented roster. Croatia and Brazil should be nipping at Germany's heels.
Perhaps the most interesting story on FIBA.com was Canada coach Leo Rautins saying that Steve Nash has not ruled out a return to Team Canada, for whom he has not played since 2003:
- "You are always hoping [Nash] will play but I’m preparing as if he’s not," Rautins said to FIBA.com.
"He hasn’t said no, and he’s very optimistic about what we’re doing. But a lot depends on his situation.
"We are in a position now that if we were fortunate to have Steve play, he wouldn’t have to carry us. He could be a part of us. At that age, [Nash turns 34 on February 7], it’s not an attractive option to be a savior after a long NBA season."
BYRON V BARON
Finally, I liked that Johnny Ludden, in claiming that Baron Davis was the no. 1 All-Star snub, said that "Somewhere, Byron Scott is laughing"... and it turns out that, as the SF Chronicle reported, that somewhere was simply Byron's office!