Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kidd's style is rubbing off

Touch passes from Dirk Nowitzki? Okay, maybe that’s not too hard to believe. But Erick Dampier?

“It’s rubbing off,” Josh Howard surmised. “I’ve never seen it before.”

It is point guard Jason Kidd. More specifically, his willingness to share the ball in a creative and prolific manner. The Mavericks, in the span of about a week, have seemingly transformed into a pass-happy bunch that’s traded high tops for track shoes.

“Jason had brought tremendous energy, as well as the other guys,” Howard added. “If we can continue to keep that energy up and keep flying under the radar going into the playoffs, I think we’ll do great things.”

The numbers during the three-game winning streak going into San Antonio shouldn’t be seen as absolute – after all, it’s a sample of three games – but consider the trends. The Mavs averaged 25.7 assists and 20.7 fastbreak points in wins over Memphis, Minnesota and Chicago. Compare that to 19.9 and 12.8 in the 53 games before Kidd’s arrival.

That’s a 29 percent increase in assists and up a whopping 77 percent on the break. Again, it’s three games against three teams with losing records, but it’s also obvious to anyone watching those three games that a shift in style has occurred.

Read the rest of this story and get a Spurs preview in today's notebook at

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