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Tuesday September 5, 2006 11:22 am

Dropping Dimes Draft Blog: Round 2, Pick 8

Jason Kidd Round 2, Pick 8: Jason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets

YO, WHAT UP, KIDD?

Jason Frederick Kidd… yeah, get past the middle name, which we all know may as well be “Is One Bad Mother On The Court.”  Seriously, is there any bigger of a triple-threat in the NBA the past several seasons?  This 33 year old “kid” is fourth all-time (76 games) on the Triple Double list behind Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), and Wilt Chamberlain (78).  And, as any good fantasy player knows, getting stats spread out through several categories is always a good thing.

So what makes Jason Kidd so good besides the fact that he can blow up for a triple double at any point in any game (he had nine last season and several close calls)?  The boy is like pure jazz, man.  And I’m not talking Harry Connick, Jr. jazz or that Kenny G stuff.  I’m talking old cool school, just like Kidd’s game.  I’m talking Miles Davis, whose cool factor is the equivalent of Samuel L. Jackson, Chili Palmer, and Joe Montana all rolled into one. 

Okay, you’ll have to trust me on this… buy or borrow Davis’ Kind of Blue and play the first track.  Then watch Kidd play…

Kidd catches the long rebound on defense.
Kidd takes one dribble.
Kidd is at half-court.
Kidd takes his second dribble.
Kidd looks this way.
Kidd takes his third dribble.
Kidd looks that way.
Kidd takes his fourth dribble.
Kidd waits for his teammates to catch up.
Kidd looks off an alley-oop.
Kidd gets ready to play defense.

I hope you enjoyed that.  Excuse me, I hope you DUG that.  In any case, unfortunately, Jazz is not one of the categories in fantasy basketball, so let me give you some numbers.  Last season, Kidd averaged 13.3 ppg, 8.4 apg, and 7.3 rpg.  Now, you can see why Kidd is a good bet to get that triple double, right?

Sure, Kidd doesn’t score much, but it’s decent, especially from the point guard spot.  I’d expect his scoring to remain the same.  His numbers have actually declined the past four seasons from 18.7 in ‘02-’03, 15.5, 14.4, and last season’s 13.3.  I don’t think it’ll trend lower than 13 evens stevens this upcoming season, but don’t worry, old school one spots don’t look to score the way today’s point guards do.  However, they do get the assists numbers and we should expect more of the same as well from Kidd.  Expect about 8.0 dimes or more.  And you can thank having two of the better finishers in the league - Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson - on the Nets.  If rookie Marcus Williams turns out to be the most regrettable drop in recent NBA Draft history and does well backing up Kidd, Kidd’s numbers could actually improve WHILE playing less than the 37.3 mpg he averaged last season.  Kidd won’t have to force things because he doesn’t have a capable back-up, but most importantly, Kidd will be able to get some significant rest on the bench and come in fresher.  Rebounds?  Anywhere between six and seven is a good bet.  In fact, his career rpg average is right down the middle of those numbers at 6.5.

How about the numbers aside from the conventional triple-double? 

Kidd has long been known as one of the better defenders in the league.  How good?  Kidd has either been on the first or second All Defense Team since the ‘98-’99 season.  That’s right, eight seasons in a row.  How’s that for consistency?  Last season, Kidd averaged 1.9 spg, which jibes with his 2.0 spg career average.  You can expect more of the same this upcoming season.

Kidd also gets his from outside the arch, connecting on 1.7 triples per game last season, translating to 139 makes for the season.  You can use that for your ROTO team, can you not?  The previous season, Kidd averaged 2.0 threes per game, but unfortunately, only played 66 games.  That’s something you wouldn’t want for your ROTO team (the less than desirable number of games that is), but in H2H leagues, hopefully you drafted a capable backup.  Despite his age and the upside of Williams, I’m not ready to say that Kidd is injury-prone.  Sure, he only played 66 games in ‘04-‘05 and 67 in ‘03-‘04, but he did play 80 in ‘05-’06, as well as 82 in ‘01-’02 and 80 in ‘02-’03.  So, don’t be timid in drafting Kidd because he’ll get some burn and bombs.

Okay, get this straight – Jason Kidd is NOT a good shooter from the field.  At all.  He’s a lifetime 40.2 FG% shooter and that’s what he basically hit last season (40.4).  However, Kidd is a decent shooter from the charity stripe, hitting 77.9 percent for his career and 79.5 last season.  As recently as the ‘02-’03 season, Kidd did hit 84.1 percent from the line and followed that up with an 82.7 percentage in ‘03-’04.  So, it’s quite conceivable that Kidd gets back to that 80.0% clip this upcoming season.  And let’s face it, in today’s game, anyone that shoots 80.0% or better from the free-throw line is almost like gold.

Regarding turnovers, Kidd had a 3.5 assists/turnover ratio, which is quite good considering the amount of times Kidd has the rock in his hands.  You can check out my article on turnovers, but I’ll tell you now that I don’t really concentrate on the category too much when drafting.  It’ just a bonus that Kidd has one of the better ratios for a point, so I thought I should mention this in case it may sway you in choosing your point guards. 

How He Fits On This Fantasy Basketball Team

Like a Gary Payton… err, I mean, like a glove.  Sorry, just had to mention Payton here because he and Kidd used to get down on the courts of Oaktown way back in the day.  When Kidd was coming up in rep, both at the University of California and the Dallas Mavericks, Payton, already an established star in the league told everyone that would listen that Kidd was the truth.  Payton was right. 

Teaming Kidd up with Kobe Bryant makes this, arguably (and I appreciate all comments), the best 1-2 guard combo thus far.  Bryant will get his points, Kidd the assists, and pretty much both will get boards, steals, and treys.  The FG% may not be the best, but Bryant will easily pick up Kidd in that category.  The FT% should be very solid and we can forget about blocks.  Since both of these players pound the pill the most for their respective teams, the turnovers will come, more so on Bryant’s side.

Other Team Members:

1.5. Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers

Final Assessment
Overall, I’m liking the way this team is looking.  In ROTO, both should stay healthy to contribute mightily in every category, but blocks.  In H2H, both are consistent and able to get triple doubles or come close to them more so than other players.  When it comes to this team, just like McDonalds, I’m lovin’ it.

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