Kidd remains one of NBA's best

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Kidd remains one of NBA's best

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Two of the NBA's greatest 3-point shooters were on hand during Boston's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

That's not a surprise.

The fact that one of those shooters is Jason Kidd?

Big surprise.

"That would probably be a good trivia question," Kidd told CSNNE.com. "Who were the top three, 3-point shooters? My name would probably never be mentioned. But I've worked hard at it, and I'm very proud to have made some."

He certainly did on Friday night, one of which would prove to be the game-winner for the Mavericks as they closed out the game with a 10-0 run to defeat the C's, 101-97.

Kidd finished with 10 points and nine assists, which included a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play that was the game-winner.

On the game-winning shot, Kidd had the ball and hesitated enough to get Allen flying in his direction.

As Allen landed, Kidd raised up for the game-winner and hit nothing but net.

"I was actually afraid that when I jumped, he was going to jump into me, and I was going to foul him," Allen said. "I was trying to run him off the (3-point line), but he just stayed there. That was a tough shot."

Tough shots have been a part of Kidd's Hall of Fame-worthy resume for years, which is surprising when you consider shooting the ball was clearly his greatest weakness when he came into the NBA.

"I have a lot of opportunities because I'm open," said Kidd, who has made 1,742 3s which ranks third all-time behind Reggie Miller and Allen. "You just have to work at it. I've been fortunate to make a couple (3s). But I've taken a lot, too."

But none bigger on Friday night than the one with the game clock winding down, the kind of shot that shows the progress and improvement in Kidd's shot through the years.

Allen said Kidd's shooting skills are often overlooked because he has been such a dominant playmaker for the bulk of his career.

"He didn't really have to shoot, but that's what kept him around for so long as he's been around is being able to facilitate, being a great teammate, and knocking down the open shot, keep the floor spaced," Allen said. "It's just a message to all the young guys to just continue to hone your skills, and I think he's done that."

As far as Kidd being overlooked for his shooting prowess, Kevin Garnett doesn't buy that.

"If you look at his track record, he has hit big shots, he's put teams on his back, he's carried the load and responsibility for a long time," Garnett said. "He's no shag of a player, nothing like that. He's a respected player. Everybody in our organization and our locker room respects this dude."

After shooting a paltry 27.2 percent on 3s as a rookie in 1994-1995, Kidd shot 42.5 percent last season.

A career 34.8 percent shooter, Kidd has shot better than 40 percent on 3s in each of the last three seasons.

"Paul (Pierce) and I understand, we know he has been around a long time," Garnett said. "You don't just be around or in the league just because. He has hit big shots for tme from time to time. Tonight was no different."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Stars, studs and duds: Thomas 'not worried' about end of scoring streak

Stars, studs and duds: Thomas 'not worried' about end of scoring streak

BOSTON – You knew sooner or later, Isaiah Thomas’ impressive scoring streak of games with 20 or more points had to come to an end.

That time was Monday night as Thomas had 19 points in Boston’s 114-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

While the Hawks certainly played well defensively against Thomas and the rest of the Celtics, the 5-foot-9 guard is quick to acknowledge that the Hawks didn’t all of a sudden come up with a game plan that can shut him down.

“They didn’t do anything special,” said Thomas after missing 17 of his 21 shot attempts. “I just missed a lot of shots in the paint that I usually make. I got to where I wanted to, but that wasn’t just me it was our team. We missed a lot of shots that we usually make and you got to tip your hat off to the Atlanta Hawks.”

In doing so, Thomas’ franchise-record streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points now stands at 43.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens saw first-hand how his players – including Thomas – missed a lot of shots they usually make.

But limiting Boston offensively always starts with how you defend Thomas.

“They were really aggressive on him,” Stevens said. “They were really tough on him. They bodied him up, they were physical, they had a bunch of different guys on him at different times, they were very active off of the screens.”

And as far as his streak of games with at least 20 points, Thomas said he’s not disappointed that it has come to an end.

“I’ll break it again,” he said. “I’m not worried about it, I’ll break it.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game which ended with a 114-98 Celtics loss to Atlanta.

 

STARS

Dennis Schroder

He was arguably the biggest difference-maker on the floor Monday night. In addition to doing an exceptional job defending Isaiah Thomas, he also led the Hawks with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting with four rebounds and five assists.

Dwight Howard

His ejection aside, Howard’s presence around the rim at both ends of the floor caused major problems for Boston. He finished with a double-double of 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting along with 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Isaiah Thomas

The Hawks did about as good a job as we’ve seen any team at defending Thomas who still managed to lead the Celtics in scoring with 19 points on 4-for-21 shooting. For a minute there, he seemed to be flirting with a quadruple-double. In addition to his 19 points, he also had seven rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers.

 

STUDS

Jaylen Brown

His play was one of the few positives for Boston. He came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Taurean Prince

Only Paul Millsap logged more minutes on Monday than Prince whose defense and rebounding were huge. He had a near double-double of eight points and 12 rebounds.

 

DUDS

Celtics’ rebounding

This could be a dud for Boston almost every game, but they were worse than usual on Monday night. Atlanta had a 55-40 advantage on the boards which contributed to them dominating points in the paint (60-34), second-chance points (20-11) and fast-break points (15-7) which was fueled by rebounds followed by quick outlet passes to players in transition.

Isaiah Thomas on the end of his streak: 'I'll break it again'

Isaiah Thomas on the end of his streak: 'I'll break it again'

Isaiah Thomas discusses the Boston Celtics struggles and the end of his streak in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks.