Jason Kidd and the New York Knicks have developed a certain formula for success to start the 2012-2013 NBA season.
The Knicks won their second straight game and eighth of nine so far this season on Tuesday with a 102-80 drubbing of the New Orleans Hornets. The game followed a similar pattern to those previous for the Knicks, and it began with a fast start.
J-Kidd and the Knicks are 8-1to start the year thanks to strong starts and finishes (Getty Images).
"We want to get out and get a lead and we did in that first quarter," Jason said. "We let them back in the ballgame, but we were up five at halftime and in that third quarter we got after them defensively and got the lead. From there, the good teams close the door so they're ready for the next game and that's what we did tonight."
The fast start came thanks in large part to the efforts of Carmelo Anthony, who is off to a torrid start to the season. Anthony scored 19 of his 29 points in the opening quarter on 8-of-9 from the field and outscored New Orleans as a team 19-17 in the first.
Best thing the Knicks ever did was get Melo & Kidd together .
— Tachelle Jackson (@chellemyybell) November 21, 2012
J-Kidd had a hand in two of those eight Anthony buckets with the assists and also grabbed two rebounds, had a steal and scored a trey, one of the three Knicks buckets not accounted for by Melo in the first. He told reporters after the game that it was Melo's show and a joy to be a part of.
"It's fun, because you just get him the ball and get out of the way," Jason said. " He set the tempo. That's what he's been doing all season for us."
No. 5 has been noticing Anthony's evolution ever since he joined the team for training camp this summer. J-Kidd was last Anthony's teammate during the 2008 Olympics and noted that this year's version of Melo is in stark contrast to the player Anthony once was.
"As time has gone on, he's gotten better," Jason said. "You could see it in his leadership from day one in training camp. Tonight he set the table for us to knock down shots. If he's going to get double or triple teamed, then we all understand that. He's letting the game come to him and tonight he was good all the way around."
Jason and the Knicks have been getting a kick out of his headband, but he pledged to ditch it once the cut on his head heals (Getty Images).
Jason Kidd on his headband: "It's definitely going to go away, hopefully soon."
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) November 21, 2012
Though the Hornets tracked back into the game with 31 second quarter points and trailed by just five at the break, the Knicks put the game away in the third, outscoring New Orleans 30-16 in that quarter to take a commanding lead. The big advantage allowed coach Mike Woodson to play Jason for just three minutes in the fourth. He finished with three points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 25 minutes.
Despite the outcome of the game and their overwhelmingly positive start to the season, Jason is constantly searching for ways to get better.
Jason Kidd has been the key to the Knicks winning
— Richy(@Richyp69) November 21, 2012
No. 5 knows that there are still areas for his team to improve. High on that list is rebounding and though New York easily out-boarded New Orleans on Tuesday, it's still a point of emphasis if you ask Jason.
"Right now we have to rebound the ball better," he said. "We're a big team so we shouldn't be out-rebounded. But there's always something to work on and that's one of the things."
The Knicks continue their road trip on Wednesday in Dallas against Jason's former team the Mavericks.
It will be J-Kidd's first game back in Dallas since departing the team for the second time this summer in free agency. No. 5 hopes the fans don't hold his decision to leave against him upon his return.
"I wasn't a free agent too many times in my career," he said. I'm here in New York. I'm happy with my decision and I'm trying to help these guys and win a championship. I had a great run in Dallas, but this is business and you have to move on."
Jason's current team the Knicks has drawn comparisons to the championship Dallas team through the first few weeks of the new season and No. 5 is hopeful that the end result can be the same.
"There are some similarities. It has that feel like that team, where we share the ball. We don't care who scores. We just want to win. And we're deep too, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully it's the same outcome."
The Mavericks also happen to be the team that drafted Jason way back in 1995 and he's always been a fan favorite in Big D, especially after bringing the Mavericks a title two years ago. He told reporters after Tuesday's win in New Orleans that he holds a special place in his heart for Dallas and Mavericks fans.
"It's a great place to play. I have great memories," he said. "The fans were great to me. I won a championship there, that's what we tried to achieve. I look forward to a great challenge. They have a very good team and they're going to play hard."
Wednesday's tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on MSG.