In picking apart the dreadful film and watching – again – what happened during Wednesday’s disappointing 107-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns, coach Jason Kidd is a realist.
After Friday’s practice, Kidd noted that it was a team effort that led to the Mavs blowing a 22-point second-half lead and losing their season opener to the Suns. The Mavs hope to correct those mistakes in their home opener Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“We got to watch a little film here and see the mistakes that we made,” Kidd said. “The new guys didn’t make all the mistakes. It was a team effort. In our transition game we have to do better. Phoenix took advantage of that with our transition defense not being up to par.”
Kidd also pointed out that lack of rebounds in the fourth quarter was a crucial issue.
“They won every 50-50 ball,” Kidd said. “And that’s where we actually take pride in winning the 50-50 balls, and we came up short in that fourth quarter. So, we have to improve there.”
One of the new guys who came up big for the Mavs was backup center Christian Wood. Acquired this summer from Houston, Wood tallied 25 minutes in only 24 minutes against Phoenix.
“I thought he did great,” Kidd said. “He let the game come to him. He was C-Wood. We’re asking him to do a lot not just on the offensive end, but (also on) the defensive end.
“Again, (he was) knocking down the threes to keep us going there in that third. It was big for us, and then when you look at it defensively, I thought he did a really good job.”
Wood finished the opener converting 9-of-15 shots, including 4-of-7 baskets from three-point range. He also scored 16 consecutive points during one awe-inspiring four minutes and eight seconds stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters.
“You all saw it,” point guard Luka Doncic said. “How he can play and how he can contribute to this team a lot. We’re really happy to have him.”
PRAYERS OFFERED TO TONY BROWN’S FAMILY: Jason Kidd said he recently talked to long-time NBA referee Tony Brown, who died Thursday at the age of 55 from pancreatic cancer.
“(Mavs assistant coach) Darrell Armstrong Facetimed him while we were at the Notre Dame game and he was in good spirts and we were joking with him,” Kidd said. “That was the last time I got to talk to him and see him.
“So, it just shows how life can be fragile.”
In 20 seasons as an NBA staff official, Brown officiated 1,110 regular season games and 35 playoff games. He also made his debut as an official in the NBA Finals during the 2019-’20 season.
“Our prayers go out to his family,” Kidd said. “What an incredible guy. He was just a great human being. He will be missed.”
KIDD ON DAK BEING BACK: Count Mavs coach Jason Kidd among those who expressed excitement that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be back on the field Sunday against the Detroit Lions after missing the previous five games with a fractured right thumb.
Kidd also gave praise to backup quarterback Cooper Rush, who guided the Cowboys to a 4-1 record while Prescott was on the mend.
“I’m excited to see Dak play,” Kidd said. “I know that they’re happy to have him back, but it just shows the depth of the Cowboys having their backup step in and hold it down until Dak got back.
“They’ve got both sides of the ball is very, very good when you look at their defense, and now getting Dak back that helps them.”
KIDD EXCITED FOR THE RANGERS: When Jason Kidd saw where the Texas Rangers hired Bruce Bochy as their manager on Friday, he felt that was an excellent hire.
“I think Texas has a great manager in Bruce,” Kidd said. “I think when you look at being a coach here (in Dallas) they expect winning, but they also like to see people be held accountable, but have fun.
“You look at the Cowboys and Rangers and here with the Mavs, it’s about winning. But it’s about being able to have fun. And when you look at what the Cowboys have done this season – everyone is enjoying watching them play. But it’s about team, and I think the Rangers have that as they build a contender.”
BRIEFLY: Point guard Luka Doncic was more than happy to see assistant coach Greg St. Jean spend some time in Slovenia this past summer and helping out with Doncic and the Slovenian National Team. “About one week he was there,” Doncic said. “He helped a lot of coaches in Slovenia. He played poker, but he lost. I took his money. It was players and him. And he lost — 10 bucks. We were really happy to have him there. I think he’s coming back next season, hopefully.”. . . Center/forward Dwight Powell played in all 100 games for the Mavs last season. However, Powell did not play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Phoenix Suns. “You look at the depth chart, the roster is big heavy, so he just has to be patient,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s a pro and he’ll get his opportunity.”. . . Doncic said his message to the fans and Saturday’s expected sellout crowd is the same as it was his previous four seasons in the NBA. “We’re going to try to win the championship,” Doncic said. “Last year, especially in the playoffs, was amazing. The atmosphere (inside American Airlines Center) was one of the best I’ve ever been, and I was happy to play at home. We only had one preseason game there (this year). It’s a new season. It’s not preseason, so I’m really excited to see the fans.”. . . Kidd sent out his thoughts and prayers to one of his former teammates, Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo. Last week the NBA announced that Mutombo would be receiving treatment for a brain tumor. “I hope the treatments go well,” said Kidd, who was a teammate of Mutombo’s with the New Jersey Nets during the 2002-’03 season. “We’re praying for a speedy recovery and that things go well for him.”. .Spencer Dinwiddie’s parents told general manager Nico Harrison that they’ve never seen their son happier since he’s been in the NBA than he has since joining the Mavs midway through last season. Asked if he’s seen Dinwiddie happier, Doncic said: “Every time he hangs out with me. You ask him. He’s going to say the same thing.”
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