Nowadays, team chemistry and immaculate vibes dominate Dallas Mavericks' social media in addition to player commentary. Jason Kidd seemingly has a lot to do with the apparent shift of tone around the organization.
Kidd recently appeared on the "Take Dat Wit You" podcast. hosted by Mavs play-by-play extraordinaire Mark Followill and former Mavs Director of Player Development. During the interview, the new Mavs head coach spoke on Luka Doncic's approach to NBA referees, Kristaps Porzingis on-court points of emphasis, among a few other topics.
Say what you want about Kidd's past coaching faults, but his media savvy shines during the podcast. The new Mavs head coach has sincerely happy to be here, but is not overwhelmed by the moment tone when speaking to reporters, which radiates during the podcast.
Improving relationships with referees
Last season, NBA superstar Doncic gained an infamous reputation regarding his colorful approach interactions with NBA referees. During the regular season, a player is allowed 15 technical fouls before a one-game suspension. Doncic, second to only Dwight Howard, flirted with serving the suspension by finishing with 15 technicals.
Kidd addressed the imperativeness of Doncic fine-tuning his relationship with NBA referees. "You don't always have to yell and scream," claimed Kidd, as he calmly expressed the various ways in which the passion-packed Doncic could lighten up his reactions to fouls and other calls.
Without piling too heavy on his superstar player, Kidd said it's on the team to be respectful in their dialogue with the referees. "I've never seen a referee blow the whistle and say that was an accident", Kidd claimed as he went on to insist the Mavericks must focus on the next play instead of harping on the last.
The many possibilities of Porzingis
Indicative of the NBA Media Day's topics and quotes, the 2021-2022 Mavericks season will feature more Porzingis on offense. Without delving into the former head coach Rick Carlisle's three-season tenure with the 7'2 unicorn, it's apparent, at least for now, Kidd has a different outlook.
Kidd raved how Porzingis has multiple on-court areas in which he can influence the game, including the post. In the 2021 NBA playoffs, the 7'2 center seldom crashed the rim. Instead, Porzingis stayed in the corner-three spot, mainly working as a decoy. Kidd wants to inject more actions involving Porzingis.
Kidd continued on his Porzingis campaign by calling him a quarterback. Shortly following his claim that the frontcourt option will see sets creating for others, Kidd confidently stated the career 36 percent three-point shooter has "more of a skillset than just shooting threes" before moving on to the next question.
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Although Porzingis plays the game differently than NBA champion, league MVP Dirk Nowitzki, the two players are linked by height and the fact they are international players. Kidd said the two are similar in that they can shoot the ball. Continuing the theme of not wanting to limit Porzingis to the perimeter, Kidd focused on the midrange.
"I know everybody cringes on the mid-range, but when you look at the teams who were just in the Finals, mid-range was big," stated Kidd before going into a soliloquy of why the Mavericks must balance the offensive gameplan.
Following Kidd's announcement of Dwight Powell starting at the center position, fans collectively questioned the decision. However, according to the Mavs head coach, the decision came in a joint effort.
During the podcast, Kidd revealed his council consisting of Tim Hardaway Jr., Doncic, and Porzingis recommended the high-energy big belong in the starting lineup.
Kidd said Powell would be a great way to start the game but, in the same breath, also mentioned slotting Porzingis at the center position to close in specific scenarios. Admittedly, Kidd doesn't want to show his entire hand prematurely.
Trusting Jalen Brunson
Despite his below-par performance versus the Los Angeles Clippers, Jalen Brunson is still one of the best bench-unit point guards in the league. Shooting 40 percent from the three-point line and scoring 12 ppg, Brunson proved his worth.
Kidd stated his respect and trust for the two-time NCAA National champion:
Aside from his "machine" moniker, Kidd also compared the backup point guard to an engine. Apparently, Brunson is making a lot of noise.
Going back to his comment where he compared Doncic to Picasso, Kidd as a former artist himself, appreciates a player's artistry. "I don't want them looking over at me", claimed Kidd. he wants them to focus on their offensive freedom.
Check out the podcast on Patreon for the interview. With the Mavs season soon to commence, every bit of information Kidd provides paints a picture of what to expect moving forward. Follow Dallasbasketball.com for everything Dallas Mavericks.