It was a busy weekend in the American Airlines Center for the Dallas Mavericks, who trounced the Utah Jazz, 116-101 on Friday night before clawing their way to a 101-100 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in an overtime thriller.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the good wins came with a caveat.
Jason Kidd wasn’t able to participate in much of the weekend’s action and will miss at least a week after sustaining a calf injury in the opening two minutes of Friday’s game. The injury has been deemed a strain, and No. 2’s absence from games will be precautionary.
"It’s not real serious, but it’s going to take awhile," Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle told the media on Sunday. "We’re going to say ‘a week’ and then we’ll see where things are at."
No. 2 will miss at least a week with a strained right calf suffered Friday against the Utah Jazz (Getty Images).
Jason was able to pull down one rebound before experiencing the injury, while planting and trying to draw a charge call against the Jazz’s Devin Harris.
"This happened on a transition play where he was going back and Devin Harris was kind of in a spin and just a freaky play," Carlisle said of No. 2’s injury.
As he was escorted to the Mavs’ locker room by head athletic trainer Casey Smith, Jason feared the worst. He described that the pain in his right calf felt as though he had been kicked in the back of his shin — a common symptom in Achilles tendon injuries — but video replay of the incident showed Jason unguarded and no signs of any contact.
"They were a little nervous I had torn the Achilles or something because that’s, I guess, the common theme when you say you got kicked in the back of the calf," Kidd told reporters of his injury. "I’m just happy it was just a strain."
Luckily for the Mavs, Rodrigue Beaubois was ready to do his best to step into Jason’s shoes.
"The coaches told me that Jason Kidd wasn’t going to return, so I just wanted to play the best basketball I could play," Beaubois said of his role and season-high 22 points after replacing the injured J-Kidd. "Everybody did a great job. We know how important Jason is to us. We have to be ready to step up and do our best to win games."
Even with an able replacement like Beaubois taking No. 2’s spot, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki knows what the Mavs will be missing in terms of playmaking with Jason out.
"He’s obviously our point guard and our best passer out there and he knows how to distribute," Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas. "I like what [Roddy]‘s doing. That’s being aggressive, looking for his shot. That’s his game. He will never be a Jason Kidd. I think we all understand that."
With Beaubois’ help, the Mavs fared well in Jason’s absence, continuing on to sneak by their cross-town rival, the San Antonio Spurs, 101-100, in a down-to-the-wire nail biter. After the Mavs won again on Monday, defeating the Suns 122-99 in Phoenix, Delonte West spoke to the media about how the team is faring in Jason’s absence.
"We have so many playmakers, so many guys that can put the ball in the hole, we just really have to trust each other," West said. "That was on full display tonight. We didn’t have our leader, J-Kidd, but we might build off this and get him back as soon as possible."
Including Monday’s game in Phoenix, the Mavs will play five games over the course of the next seven days without J-Kidd, marking the most games the veteran has missed in any of his eighteen seasons.
Earlier this season, No. 2 was forced to sit out four games due to a lower back strain. Combining the total number of games he is expected to miss with the calf strain and the four from his previous back injury brings this season’s total to nine games — equivalent to the total number of games he missed in the past five seasons combined.
Jason said the rest of his body, back included, feels fine and that the calf injury was more of a freak accident than a sign of wear and tear.
"I feel good. We’ll rehab the calf and then we’ll see where we stand in a week," he said. "The good thing is that my back feels great and it was just a freak incident in the sense of the calf. So hopefully it can heal fast and get back and help my guys win ballgames."
The veteran is anxious to power through his rehabilitation this week in anticipation of his return to the lineup. But he’s also pleased that his teammates are stepping up while he’s sidelined.
"It’s always tough to watch," he said in regards to his seat on the sidelines. "But it’s also good that my teammates are playing well. The team has a pretty good record without me and Dirk in the lineup. I think this is great for Roddy to get some minutes under his belt."
EVERYBODY’S ALL AMERICAN
It’s no secret that Jason Kidd is one of the league’s all-time greats.
But Jason’s impact on the game of basketball was born long before he entered the NBA. For his contributions to game at the high school level, No. 2 was named this week as one of the 35 greatest McDonald’s All-American players ever.
Jason was originally named a McDonald’s All-American in 1992 and joins a star-studded list of greats such as Magic Johnson (class of ‘77), Shaquille O’Neal (‘89), Michael Jordan (‘81) and fellow teammate Vince Carter (‘95) on the team, to name a few. J-Kidd will receive a commemorative basketball in honor of his selection by the McDonald’s All-American Committee.
ESPN.com’s Ronnie Flores referred to Jason as the ‘best high school point guard in California history:
"Kidd still holds state career records for assists (1,165) and steals (719). Since 1977, Kidd would rank alongside John Williams (1984) as the best overall high school player in California and his dominance led to team success. In fact, no Northern California team ever won the CIF Division I state title before Kidd came along."
- Jason Kidd strains calf, won’t return (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 27, 2012)
- Dirk Nowitzki returns; Jason Kidd out (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 29, 2012)
- Dirk Nowitzki looks to bust out (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 30, 2012)
- A lot to learn, a lot to like about Roddy Beaubois (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 29, 2012)
- Jason Kidd injury update will come Sunday (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 28, 2012)
- Jazz @ Mavs Post Game 20 Quotes "That kid Bubou is faaaaassst" (Mavs Moneyball, Jan. 28, 2012)
- Dirk returns as Mavericks outlast Spurs in OT; Kidd out (USA Today, Jan. 29, 2012)
- Major injury averted, Jason Kidd happy for Roddy (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 29, 2012)
- Spurs @ Mavs Post Game 21 Quotes "Wins are hard to get" (Mavs Moneyball, Jan. 30, 2012)
- Calf injury to sideline Kidd five games (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 29, 2012)
- Vince Carter, Jason Kidd honored as all timers (ESPN Dallas / Fort Worth, Jan. 31, 2012)
- Ranking McDonald’s Top 35 (ESPN HS, Jan. 31, 2012)
- Mavs @ Suns Post Game 22 Quotes "The Barrage" (Mavs Moneyball, Jan. 31, 2012)
- Thunder-Mavericks Preview (NBA.com, Feb. 1, 2012)