It's the dawn of a new era for the Dallas Mavericks. Veteran coach Rick Carlisle left the team and joined the Indiana Pacers, leaving the door wide open for Jason Kidd to get another shot at an NBA coaching gig.
Controversies and personal preferences aside, Kidd's presence will have a big impact on the Mavericks next season. He's not a player's coach like Carlisle, and he's going to try and incorporate his philosophy on the team right away.
Needless to say, Luka Doncic is still going to be the centerpiece of their project, but, after making some nice additions during the offseason, Kidd believes that their focus should be on being a better defensive team.
Jason Kidd Says Defense, Not Doncic Will Be The Key To Win A Championship
“I don’t think it’s going to change in a sense that we’re not going to take the ball out of Luka’s hand,” Kidd told Dwain Price of mavs.com. “He’s too good. We’ve added pieces to compliment him, but also (pieces that) compliment each other."
“But the biggest thing is the defensive side of the ball. We’ve got to pay a little bit more attention to detail. Understand we all have one goal, and that’s to win a championship. And we’ve got to get stops. The last time we won a championship here, we did get stops. We all know we can put the ball in the basket. But when you look at the little things – rebounding, playing a little bit better defense. If we can apply our energy to that, that’s going to put us in a different tier. Just talk about defense," Kidd concluded.
That makes plenty of sense. The Mavericks were far from a good defensive or rebounding team over the past couple of years, and you can't expect to win many playoff series by getting outrebounded and destroyed in the perimeter.
Doncic is a generational talent and the Mavs will be wise to make the most of him while they can, but he can't win on his own. No one can. Hopefully, the newcomers will be exactly what this team craved for last season.