Jason Kidd was brought on to the Knicks for his veteran leadership. He could run back-up point behind Raymond Felton and addd to the experienced approach the Knicks were aiming for. But he's been simply en fuego from the outside. His perimeter shooting and spacing have helped the Knicks offense avoid falling into their worse instincts about ball-stopping.
And against the Nets, it's that shooting that wound up being the difference. Tie-game, in a contest where Brooklyn held a massive first-quarter advantage that turned into a back-and-forth in the 4th quarter behind Carmelo Anthony's 44 points. Nets play good defense, force a contested J.R. Smith three, when the Knicks tap the ball back for an offensive rebound, setting up this play.
So a few things here:
- Yes, that is indeed an offensive foul. NBA officials made the rounds in preseason talking specifically about that play and how it's illegal. Smart move by Kidd, but disappointing that he drew the call.
- Of course, he missed the free throw, so there wasn't any actual damage, but then, the entire flow of the game changed. It's one of those butterfly-flaps-its-wings-and-maybe-Joe-Johnson-doesn't-hold-the-ball-for-four-seconds.
- The Knicks hug a lot. There was a study done a few years ago about how teams that slapped five a lot and had more contact played better. Maybe the Knicks' success is based off the amount that they hug. Because when a good thing happens, those guys share the platonic love freely.