The Dallas Mavericks have had a series of disappointing playoff loses in a row now. First it was the loss to the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals. Holding a 2-0 lead they lost it all when Dwayne Wade torched them the next 4 games. Second it was the first round loss to the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs.
Holding one of the best records in NBA history (67-15), they were the first one-seed to lose to an eight-seed in a best-of-7 playoff series. And third was the first round loss in the 2008 playoffs to the New Orleans Hornets. Despite being the lower seed many expected them to win because of the lack of playoff experience the New Orleans Hornets had.
But they lost in 5 getting torched by Chris Paul and his gang. That was also the year they traded for Jason Kidd. Mark Cuban and Avery Johnson sensed desperation in the middle of the season and decided to trade their future (Devin Harris) for now-or-never (Jason Kidd). Everyone remarked on how Jason Kidd was outplayed by Chris Paul and that Jason Kidd no longer had “it.”
But in my opinion maybe J-Kidd is being unfairly targeted. Kidd was traded to the Mavs with 29 games left in the regular season. Now if you watch Kidd play you know he is one of the best passers in the game. He really knows his teammates well and knows exactly where they want the ball.
29 games is not a lot of time to get used to all of his teammates. And vice-versa. 29 games is not a lot of time to get used to Kidd. I say when Kidd gets a training camp with the Mavs they will gel together better. Another big story is the firing of Coach Avery Johnson and the hiring of Coach Rick Carlisle.
Avery Johnson has done some great things for the Dallas Mavericks organization and he is a great coach and I respect him very well. He established a very good defensive team…something Coach Don Nelson was not capable off. But quite frankly…he did not know how to use Kidd.
His offense was stagnant and all he called were isolation plays. He did not let Kidd run the offense and they never got a chance to gel. Instead, he tried to make Kidd a scorer and a spot-up shooter…something he is NOT. Even Dirk said this in an interview. The hiring of Carlisle will help very much.
He is not a Don Nelson/Mike D’Antoni run-and-gun coach but he’s not a control freak like Avery Johnson. Carlisle understands that he needs to let Kidd run the show but at the same time keep up the defensive mentality that has been established in Dallas. Also…Josh Howard is a key player for the Dallas Mavericks.
When he goes…the Mavs go. And during the Kidd stretch last year he didn’t play particularly well. His grandmother passed away during the playoffs. This was the lady that raised him as a baby. And he also had all that marijuana drama going…and now he’s got this arrest and anti-patriotism deal going.
Although his decisions may be questioned, I don’t think anyone can call him a bad person. He loves his teammates, loves the game, plays hard, and likes to win. He is an incredible defensive player (when he feels like it). He has a lot of things going for him and I don’t think he’ll throw it away. He has the chance to do some great things with Kidd.
The Dallas Mavericks have a lot of weapons on the team. They have the possibility of being very dangerous after a training camp and a new coach and a new system. Don’t start singing “rebuild” and “bust” just yet!
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