The Dallas Mavericks have had an elite offense led by Luka Doncic for two straight years, but their defense has been far from it. They finished 21st in defensive rating last season as it held them back from being serious title contenders.
The blame on why Dallas did not stand out on the defensive end can be put in a lot of places. Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell struggled on that end of the floor after returning from significant surgeries, missing players because of injuries and COVID issues, and the Josh Richardson trade not working out all played factors, but the Mavs simply were not good enough.
New head coach Jason Kidd has made defense an emphasis during training camp, and he is installing a new scheme with the hopes of make a massive improvement on that end. The Mavs have only had two days of practice so far, but Kidd’s plan is already starting to take shape. Here is what we know.
Dallas Mavericks defensive scheme is starting to take shape
Kidd talked about the team’s commitment on the defensive end after the first practice of training camp on Sept. 28, and he dropped the stat that Dallas was 30th in steals last season. It was evident that the Hall of Fame point guard wants his team to improve in that area. Fans can expect a more aggressive defense that helps better this season.
Trey Burke was asked about the team’s biggest changes defensively on Sept. 29, and fans can see his answer below.
"There are a few things. We are X-ing this year. I don’t know if you know what that is, but the terminology as well. Last year, there was a certain style that we played defensively. This year, I can tell that is not the same. There are certain things, you come off pick and roll that guy that is on the weak side has a different responsibility than he did last year. It definitely was a little new to all of us, going from one system to a whole new system, but we are picking it up on the fly."
Burke then agreed with it being a more aggressive scheme and mentioned that the Mavs plan on “showing help more than we did last year”. He mentioned that he prefers it because they will be able to count on their teammates if they get beat in a specific matchup.
The Mavs are focused on improving on the defensive end of the floor, which is a start. The team can make a significant leap this season with the proper scheme and commitment. It will be interesting to see how the team’s defense fares, and it will be something to watch throughout the preseason.
The Dallas Mavericks are going to bring the excitement this season, so be sure to tune in and enjoy. Luka Doncic alone will be worth the price of admission and an improved defense could have the team in title contention. Stay tuned because it will be must-watch.