Grading 2021-2022 season for Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd: Defense
Former head coach Rick Carlisle would often talk about the Mavs playing better defense, but it never happened. They were 21st in defensive rating in 2021 by allowing 112.3 points per 100 possessions.
Kidd knew that needed to change from the moment he accepted the position. The hallmark of a championship team is being top ten in both offensive and defensive rating, so the Mavericks had to make a dramatic improvement on defense.
Dallas brought in Reggie Bullock in free agency as J-Kidd changed the scheme. The Mavericks wanted to limit 3-pointers and shots at the rim. They tried to run opponents off the 3-point line and force them into mid-range jumpers. After the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Mavs struggled to protect the rim, but they did not have the personnel to do so.
Everybody bought into playing better defense, including superstar Luka Doncic and the numbers improved despite having virtually the same roster. The Mavericks finished sixth in defensive rating at 109.4, and they were fourth from Jan. 1 to the end of the regular season.
Kidd was the man behind it all, and fans can look at this mic'd up possession from the postseason as proof.
Grade for Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd’s defense in 2021-2022 season: A-plus
Coach Kidd brought a fresh scheme and the team played outstanding defense. It was the reason they reached the conference finals. The Jazz had the best offensive rating in the NBA during the regular season, but Dallas held them to 100 or fewer points in four of the six games. Phoenix had their three lowest scoring games of the year over the final five against the Mavericks.
The Dallas Mavericks' defensive success earned Jason Kidd an unquestioned A-plus in this category.