Friday, February 01, 2008

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)
New Jersey showed a massive improvement on defense, which is what carried them to consecutive Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. Of course, this wasn't all Kidd, as the team underwent a drastic overhaul for 2001-02, adding Richard Jefferson and Todd MacCulloch, in addition to seeing Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn return to health after fighting major injuries. (Though, as a side note, Phoenix did go from 1st in Def Efficiency in 2000-01 with Kidd to 12th in 2001-02 with Marbury, while improving from 22nd to 19th on O.)

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)
A drastic falloff. Again, I'm not pinning this all on Kidd - there are certainly other issues like the loss of Kenyon Martin and the decline of Jason Collins, which have affected the team defense over time.

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?

FIBA NOTES
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
- Slovenia
- Germany
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."
If Nash plays in Athens, Canada becomes a definite contender for that third spot.

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!

9 Comments:

At 10:14 PM, Blogger barb michelen said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you are talking about. You can't compare Jason Kidd to Devin Harris PERIOD.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can you compare harris to kidd. did harris surpass someone for the number of triple doubles?? at age 35 kidd got better at getting triple doubles, yes phis not the offensive type of a guy but as you can see he can make guys better.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger M. Haubs said...

Anons: I am not comparing Devin Harris to what Jason Kidd *was*, I am comparing him to what he is now, and what he will be from here.

As I noted, when it comes to just this season, I'm not certain. Kidd might give the Mavs the burst of adrenaline they need, though I'd be worried if he had to match up against top Western PGs.

But if Dallas gets him, they'd better win a championship now b/c in a max of two years, when Kidd is 36 and Harris is 26, there will be no question that Harris is better. And Harris will be making $8M while Kidd is pulling down $20M.

You're blinded by the triple doubles. A lot of good they're doing for the 20-27 Nets. Yes, Kidd is still a great rebounder and passer overall, but his low FG%, high TOs and slipping defense are hurting his cause.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys are fat

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable even the thought of you comparing Kidd to Harris. What it really comes down to is that Harris will never be the leader and competitor that Kidd was and still is. Harris is young and inexperienced. Kidd's triple-doubles have more of an impact on the game than you think. I guess it's kind of hard to win games when Vince Carter is playing like garbage as well as the rest of team, nobody but RJ and Kidd play solid defense and have a rookie and a sophomore starting at the 4 and 5. Besides, Kidd averaged about 1.6 steals a game just last year, this year he averages 1.54( Big Difference)Also, he was on the all-defensive second team just last year. Is that a sign of his "slipping" defense?

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous r4w said...

hey! not to mention kidds undefeated record for the olympic team!.. c'mon! it's not just any point guard in the league! it's Jason Kidd! Sure Harris got the upper hand on the age, but c'mon! It's Jason Kidd! He's 35 and is stille considered one of the best point guards in the league. i agree that it's not JUST about the trip-doubs, i don't think he would fit in on a soft mavericks team. Kidd is a leader, he would suit better with a team like the cavs(what a dream if that happened). Jason Kidd is a player that can make good players great! He's two rebounds shy of a trip-doub average. He can flat out out-stat you! Kidd's a fighter! 100% everytime! you should look around him and see if the other players plays that hard. Only Kidd and RJ! on the subject of VC. It's not becasue he plays like garbage, but because it is he who's on a decline. everytime you see VC in the paint he takes a fade or lay-up circus shot. Those shots where he usually had a nobody-can-block-me mentality and just dunked it on who ever was there. It's gone. Vince doesn't have that anymore. Sean Williams is a good player with lots of potential. if it hadn't been for those "issues" he had, he would probably be a top 5 pick. doing a great job on both sides of the floor. To me, it seems like the rest of the nets team lacks heart.i think that its the supportcast that hasn't been up to par. and not the starting 5(except for VC).
As for my last statement.
C'mon it's Jason Kidd! even if you compare Harris to what Kidd is now, and what he'll be from here. I stll think Kidd has 2-3 years. then i'd CONSIDER Harris to be the better pick. But you can't write off Kidd just because of age. If you look at it as a whole. any team that's in need of a pointguard would want Kidd.

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger M. Haubs said...

Competitor? Maybe he'll step it up if he's back on a winner, but many observers have suggested that Kidd is giving less than his best effort to try to force his way out of town.

Triple-doubles? New Jersey's record when Kidd has a triple-double this year: 5-6. Awesome.

The man is averaging a career-low 11.1 ppg on a career-low .366 FG% and it's hurting his team. Maybe he'll pick it up on a better team, but either he's declining or he's tanking, and neither is attractive.

All-defensive team honors are notorious for being handed out based on reputation. I mean, just watch the games. Are you really trying to say that 2008 Kidd is the same defender as the ball-hawking demon from the early part of the decade?

Listen, JASON KIDD IS A HALL OF FAME PLAYER, and one of the best point guards I've ever seen, but he's 35. All players decline, it happens.

DEVIN HARRIS WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS JASON KIDD IN HIS PRIME. I'm merely suggesting that a 25-year-old Harris may be better than a 35-year-old Kidd, esp. considering the quick PGs in the West, and esp. considering he's making 40% as much money.

 
At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that Kidd is giving less than his best effort. He is a hustle player, that's what he does best. All right, so New Jersey's record when Kidd gets triple-doubles is 5-6 this season, is it really such a bad thing that he gets triple-doubles? Kidd's teams have a combined record of 70-28 when he gets a triple-double. I just think it's not working out this year because of the team's lack of depth, experience, and solid defense.

I also don't think Kidd is as slow as you think, I'm sure if his team ran a fast-break offense like they used to he could show off his running abilities. Yes, he is averaging 11.1 points per game right now but when have teams ever relied on Kidd to just score. Kidd is not a scorer therefore it is not in his nature to shoot as often as others. But what I believe is more important is his ability to control the game with his passing abilities, averaging a little over 10 assists a game, something I don't think Devin Harris could or ever will do.
I still think Kidd's a solid defender and one of the better defending point guards of today, I don't need any stats for that, just watch him play.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home