Carmelo Anthony wasn’t surprised about Jason Kidd’s cup-dropping incident against the Lakers on Wednesday. That’s the kind of savvy the Nets coach displayed in his one season as a Knick last year.
Kidd picked up a $50,000 fine from the NBA, but also got his coaching staff a chance to draw up a final play.

“That goes to show you what kind of person he is,’’ Anthony said Friday before he missed the last-second shot in the Knicks’ 97-95 loss to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. “He’ll do whatever he has to do to win. He protects his team.’’

Kidd protected the Knicks last season with his play and savvy and helped the Knicks to an 18-5 start and 54-28 finish. With Tyson Chandler out, Anthony is the lone leader now on a 3-12 club.

It’s not only Kidd’s leadership that is missed, Anthony said. The Knicks had cagey veterans that made them the oldest club in NBA history last season.

“That makeup of the team was different [last year],’’ said Anthony, who lost another homecoming game in Denver. “With J-Kidd, he was a leader in his own right. He wasn’t a vocal leader like a Rasheed [Wallace] or Kurt Thomas. He was leader by example on the court. His hard work, his play, everyone fed off that. And everyone led in their own way. Now we do miss that — J-Kidd, Kurt, Kurt and Rasheed. Last year as a team we were more synchronized than right now due to chemistry, due to having fun, due to just having one another’s back.’’