|If Kidd is hurt, Mitchell's still not buying it|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 10:50|
Even as he was getting his team ready for Sunday night's Game 4 of its playoff series, the Toronto coach wasn't done talking about Kidd.
Kidd's sensational effort led New Jersey to a 102-89 victory Friday night and a 2-1 lead over the Atlantic Division champion Raptors.
``He didn't look hurt to me last night,'' Mitchell said Saturday. ``We should all play that well. A triple-double with the numbers he had? If that's injured, then I'd like to see him when he's healthy.''
Kidd had 16 points, 16 rebounds and a playoff career-high 19 assists in his 10th career postseason triple-double, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Fat Lever as the only players in NBA playoff history to have 15 or more in all three categories.
It came a day after Kidd missed practice because of a bruised left knee. Mitchell didn't seem to believe Kidd was hurt after the game, and he was even less convinced by Saturday afternoon.
``Why you keep talking about if Jason Kidd is really hurt and he just did something that only one of three players in the NBA has done?'' Mitchell said. ``That's like asking Bill Gates is he broke.
``The man just did something only three players in the history of the NBA has done and all the questions I'm getting is, 'Do you think he was faking, do you think he was really hurt?' He just set a record, what do you think?''
Earlier in the day, Kidd seemed somewhat annoyed when asked about Mitchell's comments Friday night, when he said the Nets star had a ``so-called injury.''
``That's their opinion,'' Kidd said. ``They don't have to see me go through what I have to go through to get ready.''
Kidd, who took part in the Nets' light workout Saturday, is averaging 12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 13.7 assists through the first three games. He is trying to become the first player to average a triple-double in a postseason series since he did it against the Boston Celtics in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.
His rebounding and passing enabled New Jersey to get its transition game going right from the start Friday night, and the Nets finished with a 22-6 advantage in fast-break points.
The Raptors vowed to play better transition defense in Game 4. To win Sunday and regain home-court advantage, they also need leading scorer Chris Bosh to solve his woes in New Jersey.
``We're just going to have to figure out some kind of way,'' Bosh said, ``because they're making an assertive effort to stop me and I have to put my teammates in a better position right now.''
The Nets limited Bosh to 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting Friday night. He has averaged just 12.3 points on 34 percent shooting in three games - all losses - at the Meadowlands this season, well below his season averages of 22.6 points on 49.6 percent shooting.
Mitchell said Friday night that maybe the problem was the building. The Nets think it has something to do with Jason Collins.
Collins had been counted on to defend the opposing team's best offensive post player since New Jersey's NBA finals runs in 2002-03, and the Nets have given him plenty of help by double-teaming Bosh.
``Twin's rookie year he was going against Shaq in the NBA finals and Shaq was probably in his prime,'' Nets forward Richard Jefferson said. ``So he's seen the best of the best. He played against Tim Duncan the very next year and David Robinson. So he's seen everybody, he's seen Hall of Famers.
``He's seen some of the best players to ever play the game. So Chris Bosh is definitely on his way up and is a real talented big. But Twin has seen it all and taken his lumps against some of the great ones.''
T.J. Ford tried to make the Nets pay for the double-teams by scoring 27 points Friday, but the rest of the Raptors seemed overmatched in their first road playoff game in five years. He said his teammates will make things easier for Bosh in Game 4.
``We showed that this season we can win with a lot of different people in a lot of different ways,'' Ford said. ``So we just have to come out and showcase it on Sunday.''