Washington, MD, United States (4E Sports) – New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson kept Jason Kidd benched for reserve guard/forward James White in a 96-88 win over the Washington Wizards.
Kidd, 39, has struggled with his shot, making just seven of his last 49 attempts from beyond the arc and just 19.6 percent from the floor in his past 10 games. He also struggled at times on the defensive end against bigger, quicker shooting guards.
Woodson said he’d inserted White into the starting five to defend against Martell Webster.
Webster had just nine points on Friday, down from the 19 points he had in Washington’s 106-96 win over the Knicks on Feb. 8.
It is unclear how long Woodson intends to keep Kidd on the bench. He said he’d like to see Kidd handle the ball more and will be the primary ball handler in the Knicks’ second unit for the time being. It worked oFriday as Kidd had four points, five assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes.
After the game, Kidd said he has no problem with his new role.
Woodson said he intends to use lineups in which Kidd and starting point guard Raymond Felton play alongside one another.
Kidd began the season shooting well, particularly from beyond the arc.
In the Knicks’ first 20 games, he was hitting 50 percent of his 3-point attempts. But Kidd began to tail off after Felton went down with a fractured right pinkie.
Once Felton returned, Kidd’s production decreased.
Woodson insisted Kidd will come out of his recent shooting slump.
“One of these games, he’s going to bust loose, and he’s going to hit a big one, and we’ll forget all about the ones he’s missed,” the coach said, according to ESPN.