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Mavs' Jason Kidd Reveals NBA Coach of Year Picks

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd shared his thoughts on being included in the NBA Coach of the Year race.

The Dallas Mavericks are finishing up the first year of Jason Kidd's tenure as head coach, and the results have been favorable based on many preseason expectations. 

After beginning the season 16-18, the Mavericks have since gone 28-10 and are fifth in the Western Conference standings with a legitimate chance to earn home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. That is a feat Dallas hasn't accomplished since 2011.

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Among many critical factors in the Mavericks' success has been their vastly improved execution on defense despite mainly having the same personnel as the season before. After finishing the 2020-21 season with a 112.3 defensive rating (21st), they hold a 108.5 defensive rating (sixth) through 72 games. Although the players have made it happen on the court, Kidd and his coaching staff should get credit for changing the team's identity and consistently holding everyone accountable.

By the numbers, the Mavericks no longer have an elite offense as they often had under former coach Rick Carlisle during the Doncic era. However, the buy-in from all players on the roster has been clear, and the team has embraced "Luka ball" to the fullest after the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

While there are some clear front-runners like Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) and Taylor Jenkins (Memphis Grizzlies), Kidd has put together a solid resume to receive consideration for Coach of the Year.

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“(Monty Williams and Taylor Jenkins) are two great candidates, and there’s probably another handful of candidates that should be mentioned,” Kidd said. “There’s a lot of great coaches in this league, so we’ll see who gets it."

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Overall, Kidd is not focused on the Coach of the Year race. He explained how being the recipient of the honor is not always what it's made it out to be at times — even going as far as saying it can negatively affect job security.

“That award is dangerous because that award leads to getting fired the next year,” Kidd said. “I’ll pass on that.”

Perhaps the most infamous example of that is when Dwane Casey was fired by the Toronto Raptors in 2018 – the same year he won the NBA Coach of the Year award.