The Dallas Mavericks fell to 24-22 on the season with a 130-122 loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, marking their third consecutive loss and third consecutive game allowing 130 or more points.
After the game, head coach Jason Kidd was not shy about his frustrations with the defensive effort of his team, and certainly seemed to indicate that he doesn’t see a whole lot changing unless there are some roster changes to come. When asked about how the Mavs can improve on that end, he led his answer off with “if it’s with this personnel, you have to keep asking or demanding for those guys to play defense,” which isn’t exactly an encouraging answer.
Jason Kidd on fixing the Mavericks’ defense: “If it’s with this personnel, you have to keep asking or demanding for those guys to play defense. It’s not just the offensive end, and tonight, again we gave up 130. The team shot 57 percent … It’s a shootaround.”Advertisement
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) January 19, 2023
Kidd seems very fed up with the Mavs’ lack of care on defense, sarcastically closing by saying the team will feel it’s ok to give up 150 because they also score a bunch so it won’t look so bad. Defense has always been Kidd’s calling card as a coach, so it’s not a surprise that he’d be upset at what he’s seeing on the floor, but at the same time, it’s also part of his job to find the way to get those guys to care. While the Mavs certainly aren’t a team full of defensive stalwarts (and are missing a key piece in Maxi Kleber), that’s part of why they went out and hired Kidd. A year ago they made it work, but adding more offensive minded players this offseason, like Christian Wood, has further shifted the balance and it seems Kidd’s message and scheme aren’t enough to cover up those problems.
We’ll see how the Mavs proceed over the next couple of weeks with the trade deadline looming, but it seems this mid-January dip could push them towards a shakeup to bring some more roster balance, at least if the coach has his way.