Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Jason Kidd, the man, the myth
I really don't know what to add to the whole Jason Kidd trade that hasn't already been said 100 times by everybody who even kinda watches basketball. So I'll just go with my take.
First off, I'm on board. Despite what most Internet people, and mostly mav's fans are saying, I don't think they gave up too much to get a guy like Kidd in here. Lets go with the reasons its a good trade.
A lot of stuff is being talked about how this team needed to get mentally stronger. Its no secret that the mav's were, for the most part, slapped mental in the that Golden State series last year. After that shitty sight, most people were ready to blow things up around here. I know I played on the Trade Machine for quite awhile seeing how I could get Garnett, or Kobe, or Jermain O'Neill in here. But the Mav's stayed pat, brought the same team back, and said, "don't worry, that just a hic up, we will be better next year." We all knew that wasn't a good idea, and the management finally agree with us fans about a week ago. They needed a leader. They had one player, Jerry Stackhouse, who would stand up at the end of a game with a snarl on his face, and say "Fuck you, we aren't loosing." Devin didn't do it, JET didn't do it, and Dirk rarely did it. The one way to get Dirk out of that role is to get inside his head during the game, and he folds like origami.
Enter Jason Kidd. Unlike before when the players on this team would look at their best player, Dirk, who then just looked back like "what?" they now have another superstar in Kidd who can say, Get me the ball, I will find a way to win.
A perfect example of this is this years NFL champion NY Giants. What was the best thing that happened to that team? Tiki left before the year started, and Shocky got hurt at the end of the year. Why was this a good thing. It took out some bad mojo in the locker room. When Eli or Plax stared looking around the locker room at the end of the year, where they would normally find a pissed off Tiki, or a mouthy Shockey, they found no one. So they had to look inside themselves.
That's what could happen here only in reverse. When people look around for leadership on the bench now, They don't have to look at Dirk to fire them up, or an aging bench player like Stack, they have Jason Fucking Kidd telling them how they are going to win.
2. Built better for More teams.
Several years ago when the Mav's lost to Steve Kerr and Spurs, they had one goal in mind, and that's beating the Spurs. They built there team around that idea that if you can beat the best team in basketball, you could win a title, and it damn near worked 2 years ago. They got rid of the point guard who couldn't guard Tony Parker, in Steve Nash. They went out and got some big guys to help defend Duncan, in Damp and Diop. They got rid of the shoot first, no dribbling, no defence mike Finley. They even added a former spur to be their coach! Every thing they did was to beat the Spurs.
Now the Spurs aren't the only team to worry about, as proof look at last year. Fast athletic teams gives them fits. Is Jason Kidd the answer to competing with those guys? No. BUT he does give the team an identity of there own. They are no longer the team that can beat the Spurs, they are the Mavericks, you have to find a way to beat them now. Only time will tell if it was a good move in that respect, but the Mavs most def have an identity now.
3. Ability for Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Dirk to elevate their game.
I liked Devin Harris. I liked what he brought to the team. His slashing and quick defense will be missed. But as he got better, a lot of his team mates got worse. Its a simple only so many balls to go around thing. Josh Howard isn't as good as he was last year, neither is Dirk, and Jet looked like a lost player most of the time when he on the floor the same time as Harris.
Kidd will help this. It allows Howard to be more of what he is, an athletic 3 who works hard, and cuts well, and now he has someone who will know where he is, and what he is about to do at all times. The fact that Jason Kidd is a bigger point really helps out Jason Terry. I don't know if he will stay on the bench or start at the 2, but he now doesn't have to worry about playing the point at all. He is now a 2 guard for the rest of the time he and Kidd are both here. No more Jet bringing the ball up, no more yelling at him when he has 2 assists. He can just do what he does best and hopefully that will be a good thing. On defense, Terry can now guard the quicker, smaller guard while Jason guards the bigger one. And God only knows how Kidd will help out Dirk. More open looks, easier baskets. nuff said.
Now, unless your LA and you get a star like Gasol for just expiring contracts, you will have to give up something to get something in this League. Lets look at what the Mav's weaknesses now.
Its scary to thing Eric Damper and Brandon Bass are your only two real big guys now, add that guy they got with Kidd in there if you want to, but I doubt the players much. How will this work against Shaq, Duncan, and Bynum? I don't know. Its a real concern playing against those guys that you have to have. Donny Nelson this morning said finding some back up bigs is his most pressing need right now, and with very little tradeable peices on this team left, I don't know how they are going to do it. PJ Brown is out there, does that make you feel any better? yea me neither.
2. The Future
The best prospect on the Mav's was Devin Harris. No question. But other than Mo Ager who has showed no signs of worthiness, he is the ONLY prospect on this team. The teams not old, per say, but its not young either. The window for this team before the trade was about 3 years or so. Now its only about 2. Giving up what could be a fantastic point is hard, but what happens if he turns into Damen Stoudamire, or Andre Miller? Both of whom where thought to be the next great point and turned into solid, but not spectacular players?
Draft Pics. I hear this one a lot as well. They gave up 2 first round pics. This year, and 2010-2011. HOPEFULLY these picks will be later first rounders. I'm talking 22 plus. Looking back at the drafts here are the few guys who are decent that got picked after 22:Daniel Gibson, Paul Millsap, Jason Maxiell, David Lee, Kevin Martin, Anderson Varejao, Leandrinho Barbosa, Josh Howard, Kyle Korver, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur. That's 16 people who where picked after 22 that make a difference on their team, out of 210 plus pick. That's one out of ever 13 or so pics. Basically 2 a year. This is not the NFL, where drafting well is the only way to be a great team. If your not picking in the top 10 or so, you shouldn't expect to get a star. and only once out of ever 10 years or so should you expect to get a real solid player. Now if we become the Knicks, and start blowing ass in a few years, and that pick for 2010 becomes a lottery, then we got big time problems. But that chances of that happening are slim to none, Dirk, Howard and 3 guys can probably make the playoffs.
In closing, this trade puts the Mav's closer to a title this and next year, and further away from one after that. In toady's NBA, to be a legit championship contender, you need to be one of the top 6 teams in the league. The Mav's were right on the cusp of that a week ago, now they are still on the cusp, but if Kidd makes them just a little bit better, then they aren't on the cusp, they might even be one of the top 3. Time will tell, if this pick was worth it, but if they have the championship parade in a couple months, there will be a lot of crow to be eaten around the league.