Kidd: “The defense? People don’t want to see an 80-80″

Kyrie Irving has played four games with the Dallas Mavericks. The balance of the Texan team with him is 2-2, with a strange feeling: two victories in two demanding away games, against Clippers and Kings, in both cases without Luka Doncic by his side. And two defeats already with Doncic, first in the repetition of the duel in Sacramento and, finally, in the premiere of the new star in a roaring American Airlines Center that received him with the fans on their feet. The Timberwolves, who looked like a auspicious victim for Kyrie and Doncic to add their first win together, they led by 26 points in the third quarter. And they held off Kyrie’s final onslaught (26 points and 11/12 shooting in the final quarter, 36 total) with one last possession in which Doncic and the newcomer continually searched for a shot that would have forced overtime ( 121-124 final, unconsummated comeback).

Doncic and Kyrie are scoring a lot, but the attack for now is not something nice to see beyond specific actions. It seems logical within what has to be a process of adjustment and adaptation. Of learning. With only Kyrie on the track, the Mavs maintained their personality of recent years, with a base/star dominator and secondaries doing the rest of the work. In the new version of him, Kyrie has spent more than half of his games constrained by Doncic’s rulesthe format in which everything goes through the Slovenian, and explodes in the final stretch, a kind of turnismo that Jason Kidd will have to adjust. The risk is that there will be no scratches in the chemistry within the team, and more so if one takes into account how volatile Kyrie’s character is., how complicated his contract situation is as he remains headed for free agency in the summer and the obvious hierarchy Doncic has had thus far in the franchise. Kyrie, by the way, has already been upset by questions about his future while rumors continue for the next season: Lakers, Suns…

But the big problem what can be more structural and less circumstantial is on the other side of the track, in the defenseto. The Mavs had the sixth best defense by rating last season, when they ended up surprising everyone and sneaking in the Western final. This season, they are in position 23, among the eight worst in the championship. The step back had already been obvious before transferring an essential player in the defensive section, Dorian Finney-Smith. Maxi Kleber’s absence due to injury throws insult in the wound almost every night. Against the Wolves, the fourth quarter comeback was attempted without centers. Neither Dwight Powell nor JaVale McGee nor a Christian Wood who is a strainer back and still does not have more minutes for it, whatever he does in attack and also in a compromised situation because his contract ends in the summer. In the last three games, the Mavs have received an average of 124 points.

Read Also:  Where To Get Free Copies Of Your Credit Reports

Saturday, the Kings (with OT) scored 74 points in the Mavs zone. Yesterday the Wolves added 64. They shot 37% of their shots at the opposing rim and scored 86% of them (23/26). And they distributed 28 assists against a rival right now without a defensive identity, lost. Slow, too conservative to disrupt opponents, with no rim protection and constantly fouling. At the break (54-65) the Wolves had 40 points in the paint and between Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels they had not missed a shot from the field (11/11). That ease of scoring singles led to 60% shooting totals for the visiting team.

Surely to gain time, or because he has seen that the team is at the point where it iscoach Jason Kidd sent a postgame message that won’t win over all Mavs fans: “No, interior defense doesn’t seem like a problem to me. We are here to score more points than the other team. People come to see baskets, not games that end 80-80. We are here to score, this is the new NBA. The interior defense… we’ll fix it. One of our specialists, Maxi Kleber, is out due to injury. We believe that after the All Star break he will be able to play. In the last quarter we were competitive with very small quintets. The inner defense is a matter of will and desire. We are an offensive team that can score a lot of points. We let them go by more than 20 points and we managed to bring the resolution of the game to the last possession”.

In two matches together, Doncic is averaging 30 points and Kyrie Irving is averaging 32. But the Mavs have lost both for a total of eight points.. The victories will come, sure. But for things to work in the playoffs, when the opponents really get serious, the defense will need to be better. Better. For now, it looks like it’s going to come via buyout Justin Holiday. A patch, sure, but anything will help.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here