DALLAS — There's always something special about the first home game of the NBA regular season. The energy in the building from the fans usually is another level higher and it's the first home showcase that counts after a full offseason of hard work.
In the Dallas Mavericks' 116-106 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, all 15 of the team's players were able to experience the opener on the floor.
“We all agreed,” Luka Doncic said. “We have 15 guys that are able to play. I think it shows that we trust them. I think it was a good idea.
“And we got a win, so that’s what matters.”
It can be a challenge to find playing time for all 15 members of the roster throughout the season. While some players will end up rarely seeing time going forward, managing to make it onto the floor for the home-opener was special.
“We talk about team sports,” coach Jason Kidd said. “It’s a really cool thing on opening night here where the floor has all the past players (names on the apron of the court), so those players will be able to touch the floor with their names out there was really cool.”
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There has been a clear emphasis from the Mavericks to be a player-friendly franchise.
The decision to hire Kidd as head coach is in part about that, as it had some to do with his relatability with players, given that he's a Hall-of-Fame point guard. Having the inscription of all the current and former players' names in team history on the court is another nod.
“The council" is the leadership group of Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Tim Hardaway Jr. and the first decision that was made known to the public was the inclusion of Dwight Powell in the starting lineup.
“It’s a communication thing," Kidd said, sharing thoughts on the all-15 choice. "Talking to those three guys before, they wanted to do it. We always talk about 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 as part of the team and they tend not to get to play.
“But they come to work every day just like the starters or the rotation guys. This just shows what kind of character, what kind of guys we have in that locker room, which is really cool.”