Why do the Knicks keep playing Jason Kidd?

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Jason Kidd has scored exceptionally during the playoffs.

There are many ways to evaluate scoring, but here’s how five players rank by one measure:

  • Jason Kidd: 73
  • Carmelo Anthony: 24
  • Stephen Curry: 23
  • Kevin Durant: 21
  • LeBron James: 17

That’s how many points each player has scored during the 2013 playoffs, as a percentage of the total points scored by their draft class.

Kidd has gotten a lot of flack for his eight-game scoreless streak, but he’s 40 years old. 40! It’s not his fault the Knicks keep sending him out to miss shots, as his rut has now reached 0-for-17.

The Clippers didn’t rely on Grant Hill, the only other member of the 1994 draft class to score in these playoffs. The Heat aren’t even playing Juwan Howard. NBA teams long ago stopped asking players Glenn Robinson, Eddie Jones and Brian Grant to contribute.

But the Knicks keep trotting out Kidd, hoping for better results. And in that way, they’ve elevated Kidd’s scoreless streak into unprecedented territory.

Since 1963-64, as far back as Basketball-Reference’s streak finder goes, there have been 32 scoreless streaks of at least eight games,* including two each by Mark Madsen and John Salley. But most of those streaks came from end-of-bench players who didn’t play much.

Kidd is still an integral part of New York’s rotation.

Here’s how many minutes each player had during his scoreless streak. Keep in mind, some of these streaks have lasted a game or two longer than Kidd’s, but I’m still counting total minutes.

Kidd is represented by the orange bar that towers over everyone else, who are represented in blue.

pbt jason kidd scoreless streak

*Any streaks that spanned more than five seasons might not be counted due to the setup of B-R’s streak finder.

**McDowell’s minute total does not include the first game of his scoreless streak.

***Minutes played weren’t available for Fernsten’s and Fillmore’s streaks.

New York has other options. Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland can score a bit, and it’s not like Kidd is helping in other ways. The Knicks have defended worse in the playoffs with Kidd on the court.

But they just keep asking Kidd to do what he can no longer do.