A few years ago, the Mavericks and pretty much every other NBA team drew a semicircle on their practice courts a few feet beyond the 3-point arc.

The concept was to not only improve their shooters’ range, but also to show just how much stepping out could help spacing for teammates on drives to the basket and post-ups.

Maybe it was just a matter of time before a defensive line was added to the practice court.

The Mavericks – borrowing from Jason Kidd’s previous employer, the Los Angeles Lakers – have drawn a semicircle on the court that is about 16 feet from the basket.

It is strictly a defensive tool.

Allow Kidd to explain.

“Everybody talks about spacing and the depth and how far guys shoot, which we all understand,” Kidd said. “But that’s our veer line for our defensive principles. You talk about veering and where it takes place, so we have that on the floor to be able to demonstrate where we’d like that veer to take place.

“I saw this line in LA for the last two years. I borrowed it from Frank (Vogel). And it’s been very helpful for us.”

Maxi Kleber didn’t elaborate much on the particulars about the defensive arc. But he did say it’s designed to help players be aware of the correct spot where their defensive assignments must be observed.

“Yeah, it’s defensively,” he said. “It has to do with the pick-and-roll. It’s going to be a secret.

“I don’t know how much information I can give you about that. It’s one of our schemes. The blue line stands for something on our defensive schemes. It just helps us in practice to communicate. During the game we don’t have that line obviously. But we have the whereabouts of it.”

In Kidd’s helping defense, it’s a mandatory action line for helping or not helping as the scheme may warrant.

“We introduced that line and they accepted it,” Kidd said. “It takes a lot of the gray out in the pick and rolls as far as our schemes. Unfortunately, we can’t ask the other teams to put the line down when we go on the road.”

On the clock: The Mavericks were granted Sunday off, but from Monday forward, it’s going to be a long work grind with very little down time.

They had a lively practice on Monday and almost all of the focus was on tending to details about their schemes.

“Today, we focused on ourselves,” Kidd said. “Our concepts offensively and defensively. Coming off a day off, as a staff, we didn’t think today’s practice would be on Atlanta. We have some time.”

Kidd said the Mavericks will start zeroing in on the Hawks Tuesday and Wednesday. They will fly to Atlanta Wednesday afternoon for the regular-season opener Thursday. The season-opening road trip also goes to Toronto before the home opener Oct. 26 against Houston.

Twitter: @ESefko


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