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Jason Kidd thinks Carmelo can be as good as Dirk

The former Mavs PG had high praise for his new teammate on the Knicks.

Elsa

It's early, but the honeymoon stage is definitely still in effect for Jason Kidd and the Knicks, as the former Mavs guard is starting on a New York team that's gotten off to an extremely hot 4-0 start.

He only played 15 minutes on Friday, but he was very effective in them, filling up the stat sheet with 6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 rebound on 2-3 shooting.

Of maybe more interest were his post-game comments, where he talked about polarizing Knicks star Carmelo Anthony (courtesy of Ken Berger of CBS Sports):

"He's a talented player, if not one of the best in the league," Kidd said. "I was with another great one in Dallas, so I feel that he can be just as god as Dirk. He understands the moment. He wants the ball. People don't look at him as a defensive player, but he's a guy that plays defense, and he's been doing it since I've been here, watching him in training camp. He's playing both ends."

Carmelo, a wondrously skilled 6'8 230 forward, has never lacked for talent, but at times, his commitment to passing and defense has.

However, he certainly is capable of taking over a playoff series on the offensive side of the floor, which Mavs fans are very well familiar with after Dallas lost 4-1 to Carmelo's Nuggets in a dramatic second-round playoff series in 2009.

Like Dirk, if enough good defensive players are put around him, Carmelo can be the best player on an elite team. Here's the difference: Dirk is 7'0. Carmelo is 6'8.

LeBron can defend Carmelo 1-in-1 in the late stretch of a playoff game; he couldn't defend Dirk.

I have the feeling that difference will be more than academic, considering that all roads to the NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference will go through Miami for some time.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.