Opening Tip: Kidd sorely missed

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Are you surprised by the impact Jason Kidd has had on the Knicks thus far?

If you just look at his stats, it might be hard to understand the importance of Jason Kidd.

Kidd, 39, is averaging 8 points, 2.1 steals, 3.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 26 minutes per game for the Knicks.

But measuring Kidd's impact by stats alone is a mistake. Just look at what happened to the Knicks on Monday night.

Without Kidd (who sat out with back spasms), their offense was stagnant at times, and simply ineffective for long stretches. The Knicks finished with 14 assists on 33 makes, compared to 23 assists on 37 makes for the Nets.

Deron Williams badly outplayed Raymond Felton -- scoring 16 points and handing out 14 assists, compared to eight points (3-for-19 shooting) and five assists for Felton.

Kidd certainly would have made his presence felt Monday. If anything, he would have helped spread out the Knicks' production. Carmelo Anthony (35 points) and Tyson Chandler (28 points) combined for 70 percent of the Knicks' scoring.

"He's a big part of what we do," Mike Woodson said. "He can settle guys down but you've got to give (the Nets) credit -- their defense held tight tonight."

Thanks in part to Kidd, the Knicks entered Monday's contest averaging an NBA-low 11.2 turnovers per game while also leading the league in offensive efficiency, which is a measure of points scored per 100 possessions.

But they certainly weren't the same without Kidd on Monday. That's one reason why why the Knicks have to hope that his back spasms go away -- preferably before they hit the floor Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Did you think coming into the season that Kidd would have the kind of impact he's had? Are you surprised?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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