Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kidd was not held back

Avery Johnson and Jason Kidd both freely admit the meshing process has taken some time. Johnson, however, bristled at the suggestion that Kidd has been “held back.”

“That’s an overrated thing,” Johnson told reporters Sunday before facing the Warriors. “You guys are always talking about me not turning Jason loose, he’s a 35-year-old point guard. We haven’t held him back in any way, so when you start writing stuff like that it gets all over the country.

“Look at Jason Kidd, he has no restrictions, so we’ve always turned him loose from the first day he got here. He just didn’t know the offense and didn’t know how to work with Josh Howard or Dirk [Nowitzki], but he’s been turned loose from Day 1.”

Johnson isn’t calling many plays while Kidd is on the floor, instead allowing the point guard to dictate the pace of the offense. Kidd has tried to remain in attack mode and not worry about turning the ball over.

“I play my best sometimes if I kick the ball into the stands being aggressive,” he said. “Some of the turnovers were just the anticipation of guys maybe being in a spot that I thought they would be in and then going the other way. That falls on my shoulders. I have to protect the ball.”

First the Mavericks had to adjust to playing with Kidd. Now they’re adjusting to life without Nowitzki. Johnson needs to get more production from Howard, Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, who was out against Golden State, and on down the line.

“You’ve got to find a way to get 25 collectively in some places,” Johnson said.

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