Raymond Felton has done a wonderful job running the offense the entire season for the New York Knicks. He's given them a steady quarterback who gets his teammates involved and can score within the offense. He's tough, he's gritty, he's a bulldog with a basketball and he plays like he was born to represent New York. While Felton is the quarterback, Tyson Chandler is the defender, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are the stars, J.R. Smith is the spark but Jason Kidd is what makes the entire machine that is this seasons New York Knicks run correctly. He's a coach on the court and his ability to play shooting guard has allowed the Knicks to start him next to Felton, giving them a unique look with a two point guard combination.
We don't need to review Jason Kidd's career to know he's got the goods. You don't play as long, have as much respect and record the kind of numbers he has without being very talented and hard working. However, despite it being well known that he was brought to New York to mentor Jeremy Lin, it's his basketball IQ that many overlook.
Despite Lin leaving for Houston and Kidd playing at shooting guard he has still filled the mentor role on the Knicks. It's just that Raymond Felton is the guard learning at the feet or the master. Felton is no slouch and certainly not nearly the novice Lin is but he is also smart enough to know there is plenty of room for improvement in his game and even more he can learn from a veteran like Kidd.
As such, Felton and Kidd have formed a powerful duo on and off the court. Felton starts as the point guard with Kidd by his side as the shooting guard. They can be seen communicating on every play and every break from action. Off the court, Felton picks Kidd's brain. Most importantly, he listens.
It's not the big things that separate the good from the great but the little things — the details, the nuances — that form the elite. Kidd is a fountain of knowledge. Felton is smart enough to take advantage of Kidd's presence instead of resenting it like many of todays youth might. As a result, Felton's basketball IQ is expanding and his play has reflected it.
Beyond the knowledge, Kidd can still play. Is he old? For a professional basketball player, yes. However, he works tirelessly to stay in shape and despite the loss of some of his lateral quickness and his speed he still has fast hands that allow him to make a defensive impact and uses his basketball IQ to put himself and his teammates in easier situations to succeed.
Kidd is largely responsible for getting his teammates into the right position on the floor and allows Felton to sometimes play off he ball, giving the Knicks a second point guard on the floor and therefor a second shooting guard on the floor as well. It's a tough matchup for teams and it helps make sure that the Knicks have their proper spacing and alignment on most offensive sets.
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