Two games last week against Sacramento and Golden State sum up why Jason Kidd is so important to the Dallas Mavericks in their bid to repeat as NBA champions.

The Mavs went 1-3 and averaged just 89 points per game when Kidd recently missed four games with a strained right groin. But as soon as the 18-year veteran returned last week, the Mavs scored 110 points in a 10-point win over the Kings, then 112 in a nine-point win over the Warriors.

Kidd has Peyton Manning-like qualities in that he knows how to make pinpoint passes, and he also brings a calming influence to the Mavs.

"When you have struggles you can easily see the things that you miss when he's out," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I guess more than anything it speaks to the level of competitiveness that he brings to the game in general, and to our team.

"He's battled through a lot of pain this year to stay on the floor when he has."