Although the Dallas Mavericks made it to the Western Conference Finals last season and Luka Doncic is the MVP favorite yet again, many critics believe it will be hard for them to replicate that success after losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency this summer.
However, if you ask Mavs owner Mark Cuban, the addition of Jason Kidd as head coach is what made the biggest difference last season.
“We had pretty much the same team as the year before, but Jason Kidd came in and set some expectations and was a better communicator,” Cuban said on the Re:Thinking with Adam Grant podcast.
“And so that helped develop our chemistry because all the guys knew what was expected of them. They knew their roles. They knew how they fit together. And that allowed us to go much further than people expected us to go.”
Another thing that might have helped was the Mavs' longstanding knucklehead policy, which Cuban once again brought up on his podcast appearance.
“Culture and chemistry are critical to success. A team can have one knucklehead, you can’t have two. One knucklehead adapts, two hang out together," Cuban said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to turn it all upside down and get rid of the people that are part of the toxic side of it."
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The Mavs' chemistry was so strong last season that one could argue there were no knuckleheads on that roster. Will there be any this year with the additions of Christian Wood, JaVale McGee, Tyler Dorsey or Jaden Hardy? Hopefully, for the Mavs' chances of piecing together another long playoff run, the answer will be "no."
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
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