Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is Kidd comfortable leading?

Though it’s been more than two months since the trade, the question remains: Is Jason Kidd comfortable running this team ... on and off the court?

“Since we’ve changed the team, we’ve had some highs and lows, and some ups and downs, and that’s what happens,” Avery Johnson said. “It’s not like we’ve been playing together for three years and he’s been in the program for three years. There are still certain things that he still tries to figure out and that’s why we tried to eliminate a whole heck of a lot of things so that he can just go out there and play.

“We don’t want to give up on anything we’ve done yet. I know a lot of people are counting us out. The same people that, by the way, picked us to win the series. I just hope they make up their mind.”

Kidd hasn’t fared well against his much younger and quicker counterpart. But he’s doesn’t need to put up Chris Paul stats for the Mavs to win. Kidd needs to do more within his game.

“I’m playing my game,” he said. “I just have to look to be a little bit more aggressive, put a little bit more pressure on their defense, and be involved offensively and defensively a lot more, and go from there.”

Kidd knows why he came back to Dallas.

“It’s to win playoff games,” he said. “Right now we haven’t done that, but that’s the challenge. This is the fun part. This is why I love to play this game. We still have great opportunities as a team to turn this thing around.”

Kidd admitted the team has to do a better job of executing Johnson’s gameplan. They also have to play with more passion and pride, and have fun while they’re doing it. But as far as being the one to rally the troops in the locker room, Kidd isn’t at that stage yet.

“We have enough guys in the locker room who will talk,” Kidd said. “There’ll be a point in time if I have to say something, I’ll say something, but right now it’s just more or less to go out there and execute the gameplan, and put my teammates in a position to be successful.”

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