The Mavericks are to the point in preseason that the legs are starting to feel the burn.
They will get a chance to recharge with a rest day on Sunday, but coach Jason Kidd said Saturday that the things he’s seen so far are almost exactly what he was expecting.
And that includes the 3-point shooting, which has been lukewarm at best against Utah and downright chilly against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Kidd made it clear on Saturday that the 3-pointer is not going to dry up for the Mavericks.
“I don’t want anybody to panic that we’re not going to shoot threes,” he said. “We’re going to shoot threes. But when you look at the way KP (Kristaps Porzingis) is playing inside and out, it’s a plus for us.
“And the rotations. Guys have only played a half. As we go forward, I think you’ll see more threes go up, but still being consistent in trying to get the ball inside first trying to take the easy two or get to the free-throw line.”
And there’s another factor as Kidd tries to get a more defensive mindset ingrained in this team.
“We all trust that guys are going to try to make the right play on the offensive end,” he said. “And sometimes, when you are putting out so much energy on the defensive end, it might take your legs a little bit. So guys are getting used to that.”
Which is a prime reason not to panic about the 3-point shooting through two preseason games, 18-of-63 (28.6 percent).
Passing fancy: The Mavericks want to limit turnovers, but Kidd said doing so should not come at the expense of being too conservative offensively.
He said Luka Dončić continues to explore ways to build more chemistry in a new offensive system with subtle differences from a year ago.
“It’s just the communication,” Kidd said. “It takes some time. New pitcher, new catcher. There’s going to be some passed balls. But at some point, it’s going to click and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”
Kidd relayed a story of an All-Star Game when he threw a pass off of Charles Barkley’s head – not the first time that had happened to Barkley. And Barkley later said he simply wasn’t expecting the pass.
“I had a lot of turnovers,” Kidd said. “We’ve had some early turnovers, but the intents have been great. And that’s something I’ve told the guys. If the intent is good, I’m not going to harp on turnovers.
“We want to take care of the ball, but if you’re trying to get a teammate the ball, that’s unselfish and I’m all for that. We haven’t had to put on football helmets yet. No concussions.”