Not Kidding Around: Kidd and Carter Carry New Jersey to VictoryVince Carter scored 37 points on 15-23 shooting and Jason Kidd had an amazing triple double--16 points, 19 assists and 16 rebounds--as the New Jersey Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 102-89 to take a 2-1 series lead. The Nets shot .526 from the field, which did not surprise 20 Second Timeout readers--I told you that New Jersey would shoot well at home in this game. T.J. Ford led Toronto with 27 points and eight assists, while Chris Bosh had 11 points (3-10 field goal shooting) and 11 rebounds. The Nets jumped on the Raptors early--leading 31-19 at the end of the first quarter and 58-39 at halftime--and led by at least eight points the rest of the way.
How rare is a triple double as substantial as the one that Kidd assembled? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there have been only two other 15-15-15 triple doubles in NBA playoff history: 16 points-30 rebounds-19 assists by Wilt Chamberlain in 1967 and 19 points-16 rebounds-18 assists by Fat Lever in 1985. Kidd set his playoff career-high in assists, surpassing his previous best of 16 when he played for Phoenix. This was Kidd's 10th postseason triple double, moving him past Chamberlain and into a tie with Larry Bird for second place all-time on the playoff triple double list; Magic Johnson holds the record with 30. Kidd is averaging a triple double through the first three games of this series; no one has averaged a triple double in a playoff series since Kidd did it against Boston in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals. Johnson averaged a triple double in a series four times, Chamberlain did it twice and Oscar Robertson and Lever each did it once.
Jason Kidd has made the All-Defensive team the last eight years, including a First Team selection last season. He has led the Nets to the NBA Finals twice. His only weakness is his subpar field goal shooting, which hovers around the .400 mark for his career, mitigated somewhat by the fact that he takes a lot of three pointers; he shoots free throws at roughly a .780 clip, which is more than respectable. I know that this amounts to basketball sacrilege, but I'm going to ask the question anyway: are we really, really sure that Steve Nash is a better player than Jason Kidd? Clearly, Nash is a better shooter--but is he a better all-around point guard than Mr. Triple Double?
posted by David Friedman @ 5:21 AM