Who had the New York Knicks on top of the Eastern Conference at 19-6 after 25 games? No one?
It is a pretty big shock.
This is a team that has failed to meet the potential of their talent for years, and now, all of a sudden, they look like they could compete for an NBA title. Have they finally discovered what it is going to take to win?
Carmelo Anthony is the league’s second leading scorer, and for once it is not just because he is putting up the ball from anywhere and everywhere. His field goal percentage is higher than it has been in years.
Tyson Chandler continues to play efficiently and aggressively. J.R. Smith has fit in nicely to his new role coming off the bench. And the Knicks as a team are hitting outside shots like crazy.
But there is one guy who should not get overlooked in all of this: Jason Kidd. The 39-year-old veteran is now in his 19th season in the league. Last year it looked like he was done and his time in Dallas would end with a ride off into the Texas sunset. Even when he joined the Knicks, it looked like he was only going to be logging a few minutes a game in a timeshare with Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
Instead, he has shifted over to play a little bit of shooting guard to get more minutes.
Now, I think Kidd is one of the best point guards ever, but I have never thought of him as a shooter. If you would have told me that the Knicks were going to stick him on the floor at the 2-spot, I would have said they were making a very dumb decision. Especially when they already have some pretty solid shooters.
But Kidd has really found the touch in his old age. All of his scoring numbers are up this year. He is shooting almost 43 percent from the floor, his best mark since 2007. He is scoring almost 9.0 points per game, which is not bad considering who he is on the court with.
But most impressive has been Kidd’s three-point shooting. He is shooting almost 45 percent from beyond the arc. He had a rough game Wednesday night against Brooklyn, going 2 for 9, but before that he was shooting the best 3-point percentage of his entire career.
Since so much of the opposing team’s attention is devoted to slowing down Carmelo, the ability to hit the three after Anthony passes out of a double team will be invaluable to the Knicks all season.
Anthony is going to be the MVP of the Knicks, maybe even the league when all is said and done, but what Jason Kidd has meant to this team cannot be understated. His resurgence may be what finally gets the Knicks what they have been missing for a long time.
Image: Yahoo! Sports