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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not Kidding Around: Kidd and Carter Carry New Jersey to Victory

Vince 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



At Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:01:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

steve nash teams have done better in a tougher conference nash could win with new jersey i belive with vince and richard jeffrson as well steve nash has had 20/ 20 and virtually every night he's like 18/12 magic johnson numbers man kidd better defender but he aint better than nash at this point that little cat cold he be killing the lakers in the playoffs and everybody else remeber with no stoudamire they won 54 games and conference finals down 3to1 to lakers and i believe 3to2 to the clippers man he brought them back both times too so he can win with less around them they both similar nash is better

At Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:02:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

what do you have against steve nash davids you want everybody to be better than him i dont understand stop hateing on nash fam

At Sunday, April 29, 2007 12:51:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

How is asking if we are sure that Nash is better than Kidd "hating"? It's just a question. Kidd is a better defender and rebounder than Nash and just as good of a passer in my estimation, so Nash's only edge is shooting. How many playoff series had the Nets won before Kidd joined the team? How many Finals appearances had the Nets made? Kidd transformed that franchise as much or more than Nash transformed Phoenix and without the benefit of a supporting cast that is as good as Nash's.

By the way, Nash has had one 20/20 game in his career, as has Kidd; meanwhile, Kidd has had 87 regular season triple doubles (plus 10 in the playoffs), compared to three regular season triple doubles for Nash.

I don't see how being down 3-1 to the Lakers last year is an advertisement for Nash's greatness. The Suns clearly have the better team; the fact that they were down 3-1 tells us more about Kobe's greatness than Nash's greatness.

At Sunday, April 29, 2007 1:48:00 PM, Blogger marcel said...

are we sure kobe is better then lebron? lebron has better fg% rebounds, assist better passer kobe only better scorer but I still think kobe better because he can close out games and better ball handler maybe. a few years ago kidd was better but nash almost avg a double double kidd transformed them in a jv conference the number 1 seed won 47 games iverson got to the finals in that conference back in 01-02 and 02-03 when kidd went the east was terrible only reason they got that far nash took the suns with no stoudamire to to the confernce finals when most thought they would not make the playoff there goes that great supporting cast if they so great why didnt they think they were going to make the playoffs? and im not talking about you im talking about most experts. nash transformed the suns from losers to winners overnight it cant be disputed they were a low 40 win team before he came, also with dantoni should get some credit as well he made the system but every player has a system that they play best in. they hadnt been good since barkley left and oh yeah kidd played there for a while too. It shows kobe greatness what they he cant finsh a team down 3 to 1 and nash could he came back only 7 or 8 teams have done that before david kidd was the best a couple of years ago nash the best today

At Monday, April 30, 2007 1:48:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I don't know what Kobe and LeBron have to do with Nash vs. Kidd, but Kobe is a better defender and has already won three rings. I realize that Shaq was the primary guy on those teams but Kobe was an All-NBA player and an All-Defensive team player and the team's assists leader, so he performed at a very high level on those championship teams--which is not to say that LeBron is not capable of doing similar things, but he has not done any of those things (other than make the All-NBA Team) yet.

The Lakers collapse at the end of last season's playoff series makes people overlook that the Lakers should have never been in contention in the first place--and that collapse had nothing to do with Bryant, who had 50 points in game six, which would have clinched the series for the Lakers if they could have grabbed a defensive rebound instead of letting Tim Thomas make an open three pointer. Look at those two rosters. Kobe Bryant is the main reason that the Lakers were able to be competitive. Can you honestly say that the Lakers, last year or this year, have an advantage at any position versus Phx other than shooting guard? How does a team that is outmatched at every position and that does not have a great bench last seven games last year?

The Nets had been horrible for three seasons before Kidd arrived and instantly turned them into a Finals caliber team; the Suns were down for one year because of injuries and not having any legit point guard the second half of the season (2003-04 after getting rid of Marbury). In 2002-03, the Suns won 44 games, so the move to 62 wins in 2004-05 is not shocking when you add Nash plus a healthy Amare (he missed a ton of games in '04) plus Quentin Richardson (who averaged 17 ppg for the Clippers in '04 before signing with the Suns). Basically, Nash got that MVP because media members underestimated the team in the preseason and then had to "explain" why Phx did so well. Shaq was the best player in the NBA that year.

As for Kidd not doing well in Phx, what are you talking about? He arrived in the second half of the '97 season, when Phx finished 40-42. They won 56 games in '98, went 27-23 in the lockout year, then won 53 and 51 games in the next two seasons. Phx dropped to 36 wins after shipping Kidd to NJ for Marbury. Three 50 win seasons followed by a 15 win drop after trading him shows Kidd's value.

At Monday, April 30, 2007 7:34:00 AM, Blogger vednam said...

Kidd's performance was simply awesome. I am very surprised he is still playing at such a high level at age 34, and after microfracture surgery.

For almost any statistical feat, one can come up with a list of players who have accomplished it, and Wilt Chamberlain will appear somewhere. It's amazing.

At Monday, April 30, 2007 11:47:00 AM, Blogger marcel said...

they never one a playoof series in the west when he was there they had good record and the dallas team had a good record you think dallas would be down 3-1 the way goldenstate plays with nash no. kobe vs lebron is becuase most categories favor lebron like kidd but it doesnt mean he's better kobe better defender barely know he dont play d like he used too and 3 championships you cant use number 1 he had shaq and 2 it's not lebron fault he been in the league 4 years. kobe after 4 years had 0. bottom line kidd and nash are great to me i would take nash slightly over kidd right now kidd number 1b


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