Jason Kidd is an All-Time Great Point Guard

The following is from Andres (Dre) Alvarez

There’s no doubt that Dirk has had a big impact for the Mavs this playoffs.  But the most productive player on the team has been Jason Kidd (check out Arturo’s blog for more on this topic). And when we look at Kidd’s career, this should not be surprising.

Player Pos G MP WP48 WP
Jason Kidd 1.0 15 520 0.297 3.2
Dirk Nowitzki 4.0 15 584 0.213 2.6
Tyson Chandler 5.0 15 456 0.199 1.9
Jason Terry 1.9 15 489 0.141 1.4
Shawn Marion 3.3 15 476 0.141 1.4
Jose Barea 1.5 15 262 0.134 0.7
Peja Stojakovic 2.8 15 324 0.063 0.4
Brendan Haywood 5.0 15 249 0.041 0.2
Brian Cardinal 3.7 4 7 0.863 0.1
Corey Brewer 2.7 6 23 -0.067 0
Ian Mahinmi 5.0 3 6 -0.384 0
DeShawn Stevenson 2.5 15 229 -0.203 -1
Grand Total 3.0 148 3625 0.145 11

Table 1: 2011 Dallas Mavericks through Western Conference Finals

The greatest point guards of the turnover era (1978 to present) are usually listed as Magic Johnson and John Stockton. It’s hard for many people to put Jason Kidd at the same level as those two. I’ll agree that Magic Johnson was on another level that will likely never be touched. That said, let’s compare Jason Kidd to John Stockton.

Advanced Stats Regular Season Playoffs
  Jason Kidd John Stockton Jason Kidd John Stockton
WP 292.9 311.1 33.6 36.25
WP48 0.301 0.313 0.295 0.272
True Shooting % 0.506 0.608 0.500 0.568

Table 2: Jason Kidd and John Stockton Career Numbers


Playing Time Regular Season Playoffs
  Jason Kidd John Stockton Jason Kidd John Stockton
Games 1267 1504 136 182
Minutes Played 46689 47764 5473 6398

Table 3: Jason Kidd and John Stockton Playing Time

In the regular season Jason Kidd has played just slightly below John Stockton. Arturo has offered an explanation that the altitude in Denver and Utah can inflate players’ numbers slightly (by the way, in the playoffs, Jason Kidd has played just above John Stockton).

John Stockton’s edge in career numbers over Jason Kidd is primarily due to time. John Stockton played at a top level until he was 40. Kidd has to play another two years to match total career years, and another three to match total age. That said the two are virtually neck and neck.

Per 36 Min Regular  Season Playoffs
  Jason Kidd John Stockton Jason Kidd John Stockton
Points 12.9 14.9 12.8 13.7
Assists 8.9 11.9 7.7 10.3
Steals 1.9 2.5 1.8 1.9
Blocks 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.3
Turnovers 3.0 3.2 2.7 2.9
Fouls 1.8 3.0 2.1 3.0
Offensive Boards 1.3 0.7 1.4 0.9
Defensive Boards 5.0 2.3 5.0 2.5

Table 4: Jason Kidd and John Stockton’s Career per 36 Minute Stats.

When we compare Kidd and Stockton to average point guards we should keep two stats in mind: Assists and Rebounds. The average point guard gets around 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. Stockton clearly wins at assists compared to Kidd, whereas Kidd clearly wins at rebounds compared to Stockton.

The issue is how these factors impact perceptions. Stockton averaged over 10 assists a game and got 75% more assists per game than an average point guard. Kidd has averaged over 6 rebounds a game and gets around 80% more rebounds per game than an average point guard. However by virtue of his stellar stat Stockton ends his career averaging a double-double. While people will acknowledge Kidd’s rebounding as amazing, it is doubtful his 6.5 boards a game stick in people’s minds as well as Stockton’s 10.5 assists.

Okay, let’s turn to each player’s overall production.  By using Wins Produced we can agree with conventional wisdom that John Stockton was a better player than Jason Kidd. The argument being advanced here, though, is that Stockton was not much more productive than Kidd.  By being excellent at rebounding, passing and not fouling; Jason Kidd has done about as much in his career to help his team win as John Stockton did by scoring efficiently and passing well.

The point of this article is not to tear down John Stockton, who is a top 10 all time player. Rather it is to point out how underrated Jason Kidd is. People will regularly compare Kobe to Michael Jordan but I suspect would scoff at comparing Kidd to Stockton. So with that in mind, let’s end this post with an amazing stat these two players share.

  Jason Kidd John Stockton
Exp Age PG Rank Age PG Rank
0 21 9 22 21
1 22 7 23 8
2 23 10 24 6
3 24 1 25 1
4 25 1 26 2
5 26 2 27 2
6 27 1 28 3
7 28 1 29 1
8 29 1 30 1
9 30 1 31 1
10 31 1 32 1
11 32 1 33 1
12 33 1 34 1
13 34 2 35 8
14 35 2 36 3
15 36 1 37 3
16 37 4 38 3
17     39 3
18     40 3

Table 5: Jason Kidd and John Stockton PG Rank in Wins Produced by Year

Except for his rookie year, Stockton was a top ten point-guard his entire career — in other words, for a time span lasting eighteen years (this is a record both for total top ten seasons and consecutive top ten seasons in the turnover era)! Jason Kidd has been a top ten point-guard his entire career, which as of this season has been seventeen years. This season Jason Kidd will get to overtake John Stockton for total championships attended (they tie — so far — with respect to actual titles won). If he can last another two years at similar levels, Kidd may overtake John Stockton’s amazing record of consecutive top ten seasons. My only hope is that Jason Kidd gets some of the recognition he deserves, as his play easily puts him as a candidate for top ten all time.

-Dre

* The Wins Produced numbers used are Dave’s hand crafted numbers. In some of my other work I have Kidd listed higher. This is in part because the automated approach sometimes placed Kidd as a SG or SF (due to his height). That said, for this article I compared Kidd and Stockton strictly as point guards.

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