As Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas peered down at the Dallas Mavericks’ bench, he saw someone he’s not used to seeing.
It was first-year Mavs coach Jason Kidd.
Silas was a Mavs’ assistant coach from 2018-20. He worked under Rick Carlisle, who was the Mavs’ head coach from 2008 until this summer, when he became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.
When asked about Carlisle’s long tenure with the Mavs, Silas said: “I don’t really remember anything else. He was here for such a long time. Obviously, working for him was one of the best moments of my career.
“Yes, it’s going to be weird, but it’s also kind of strange that the (Mavs’) lineup is very much the same as when I first got here.”
Actually, Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith were the opening-day starters during Silas’ first year with the Mavs. Dwight Powell was one of Tuesday’s other starters, while the other two – Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis – were not on the Mavs’ roster at that time.
But Silas’ point was well taken.
“There’s always change, and for about three consecutive years – with a change here, a change there – it’s been pretty consistent,” Silas said of the Mavs’ lineup. “Based on what we did last year as far as setting the record for most starting lineups in a season, it’s a testament to those guys’ continuity, to their health.
“It’s a lot for them to be able to throw out the same lineup as much as they have over the years.”
DECREASING DONCIC’S MINUTES: Before Tuesday’s 116-106 win over the Houston Rockets, Kidd discussed limiting the minutes of point guard Luka Doncic.
Doncic played 35 minutes in last Thursday’s season-opener in Atlanta and 39 minutes in this past Saturday’s game in Toronto.
Kidd wouldn’t give an exact number on where he wants Doncic’s minutes to be, but he did said that topic will be discussed. Especially since Doncic’s summer was extended by his appearance in the Tokyo Olympics.
“He’s 22 years old and he’s had a long summer, so we’ll talk about that as we grow,” Kidd said. “I asked him (during the game against Toronto) if he wanted to come out. I think we all knew the answer.
“It was ‘no,’ but I had to ask him.”
Doncic played 34 minutes in Tuesday’s 116-106 triumph over the Rockets and contributed 26 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.
“He loves the competition and he loves to play,” Kidd said. “When we play him at 38 minutes a night, that’s a lot of minutes, so we’ll see what we can do.”
THOSE SNEAKERS COST HOW MUCH?: Mavs coach Jason Kidd had some fun when he was asked about a pair of sneakers Michael Jordan wore during his rookie season that got auctioned off for a whopping $1.472 million Sunday in Las Vegas.
Kidd said: “I guess I lost out on the bid for the Jordan sneakers. (It was) $1.5 (million)? That’s it? That’s low.”
Kidd then got serious when talking about the amazing amount of money collectors are willing to pay for athlete’s sneakers.
“It’s incredible when you talk about MJ and the history of the game and just the shoe industry and the way that he’s kind of set the tone for everyone,” Kidd said. “I think when young players are seeing that, LeBron (James) and KD (Kevin Durant) and guys who got shoes, that there’s life after basketball.
“So it’ll be interesting to see what LeBron’s shoes go for in 20 years.”