Jason Kidd tears up Mavericks defense after third straight loss – ESPN

Jason Kidd tears up Mavericks defense after third straight loss – ESPN

DALLAS — The dramatically improved defense that helped the Dallas Mavericks reach last season’s Western Conference Finals seems like a distant memory, prompting coach Jason Kidd to call out his team’s poor performance at that end of the parquet .

After the Atlanta Hawks’ 130-122 win over the Mavericks Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center, Kidd made his astute comments and injected a healthy dose of sarcasm. The Mavs have lost three straight games, allowing for at least 130 points in each game of this skid.

Dallas, which ranked seventh in the NBA for defensive efficiency last season, has fallen to 25th in that category, allowing 115.0 points per 100 possessions.

Editors Favorites

2 relatives

“When it comes to these personnel, you have to keep asking or demanding that these guys play defense,” Kidd said when asked about possible solutions to Dallas’ defensive problems. “It’s not just the offensive end. Tonight we gave up 130 points and one team shot 57 percent. It’s a shoot around. In this league, if you do that, whether you’ve got Luka or Kareem or LeBron, you go. It doesn’t matter how many points you score, you’re always going to be close.

“So until we make a better effort to play defense and understand what we need to do, we’re going to get 120 points, but we’re going to give up 130, 140. We might give up 150 one night, but we’re gonna be fine because we scored, so it’s not looking too bad.”

Injuries were a major factor in Dallas’ defensive slide. Wings Dorian Finney-Smith (adductors) and Josh Green (elbows), two of the Mavs’ top fullbacks, returned Wednesday night after missing 14 and 20 games, respectively. Center/power forward Maxi Kleber, who often stops games due to his defensive prowess, has been out for more than a month after tearing his right hamstring and undergoing surgery. He said on the team’s television show that he will return during the regular season, maybe even within a month.

However, key Mavericks players agreed with Kidd that regardless of who is on the injured list, defensive efforts have been inexcusable of late.

“We’re good on offense,” said NBA scoring leader Luka Doncic, the orchestrator of an offense that scores 115.0 points per 100 possessions, ranking fifth in the league. “We just have to make sure we put the same effort into defence.”

Finney-Smith, who frequently guards opponents’ top scorer, urged the Mavs to improve their “care factor” on defense.

“It’s the attention to detail and the focus,” Finney-Smith said. “It’s all. I tried to come here with some energy but we still end up doing the same thing. It’s everyone. It’s not just one person. We all need to take up the challenge and start guarding factor. We have to take care of stopping someone. They should get mad if they keep scoring.