"If the season ended today," the New York Knicks would miss making the NBA Playoffs. After having won 54 regular season games last year, the Knicks enter Wednesday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets with a 32-43 record, and as one of, if not the most, underachieving teams in the NBA.
So, what's changed in less than a year that's made the Knicks go from NBA Title contenders to a Lottery team with no first-round draft pick? Well, according to former Knicks forward Metta World Peace, the answer is simple.
"I spoke to a lot of people and a lot of people are saying Jason Kidd was the reason [for the Knicks' poor play this year]," World Peace said in late February. "... I spoke to Tyson about it and Tyson said Jason Kidd used to do a lot of adjustments on the court. So that was an issue that we had this year with Jason Kidd becoming a coach. A lot of times they kept saying, 'We miss that presence of Jason Kidd.'"
Ian Begley of ESPN notes the Knicks struggles with late-game execution this season without Kidd, as compared to last year with the Brooklyn Nets head coach running the point. He also praises Kidd's high basketball IQ, which is something that the Knicks miss in running and executing the offense.
Statistically speaking -- and anecdotally, historically and even narratively speaking -- the Knicks surely miss Kidd. But, enough to where one player, in his 40s no less, would be responsible for such a slide? Well, he may not be the only reason the Knicks are on the outside looking in, but he's certainly a big reason, according to the numbers and, yes, Metta World Peace.
- Opening Tip: Miss the Kidd? - Ian Begley - ESPN