Mike Woodson has found a formula to ensure third-string point guard Pablo Prigioni get minutes in the regular season.

Prigioni, the Spanish League warhorse, and Jason Kidd have become a backup backcourt pairing that has been one of the preseason's highlights.

With Kidd's adaptability in moving to shooting guard, Prigioni, the NBA's oldest rookie at 35, has a great chance of being a rotation staple, according to Woodson.

"We're going to try to, absolutely,'' Woodson said. "My job as coach is to juggle minutes based on who's playing well. Minutes are going to be tough to come by on this team.''

Kidd, 39, may not be the offensive genius of his Nets days but he believes his savvy enables him to guard four positions — the 1, 2, 3, and 4. That will open up playing time for Prigioni.

"I've guarded everybody so much in my career,'' said Kidd. "It's basketball. Make him take a tough shot. I can guard the 1, 2, 3, 4. In this league you've seen teams gone small. You see Miami won a championship without a center. The game is going smaller with smaller 4s. I guarded Melo [Carmelo Anthony] before and he may have been at the 5 in Denver.''

Through two preseason games, Woodson is not just loving Prigioni's playmaking but also his defensive tenaciousness. Saturday's 98-95 overtime victory over Boston was noteworthy for Woodson keeping the Prigioni-Kidd tandem in the game in the fourth quarter and overtime. He wants to see it. Neither player shot well, but combined for seven assists and four steals in the comeback win.

"Guys were giving me a hard time,'' Kidd said, "because I hadn't played in the fourth quarter [in preseason] since my rookie year. They were teasing me.''

But Kidd is enjoying the new connection with Prigioni, whom he faced in the 2008 Olympics when Prigioni led Argentina.

"I think it starts with our age — he's 35 and I'm 39,'' Kidd said. "We connect right away. "He knows how to play game. It's not rocket science. He keeps it simple, plays hard. He's fun to play with because he competes."