Jason Kidd's awful decision that could've stopped the bleeding hurt the Mavericks

Apr 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd reacts against the Miami
Apr 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd reacts against the Miami / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks began their first-round series against the LA Clippers on the road.

The city of Dallas was buzzing to watch their favorite team return to the NBA Playoffs after missing the playoffs last year, and this was looking like the best roster the Mavs have ever had around Luka Doncic.

The Mavs came out flat in this game as they lost 109-97 and wasted the perfect opportunity to take a 1-0 series lead as Kawhi Leonard was out with a knee injury.

The Mavs didn't look ready to play in this game, and that partially falls on the head coach, Jason Kidd. Dallas had a week to prepare for LA and everyone was fresh, and rather than throwing the first punch and setting the tone, LA did.

Jason Kidd's decision to not challenge foul on Maxi Kleber hurt the Mavs

This loss doesn't all fall on Kidd, but there were a couple of decisions or failure to make decisions in this game that could have made this game a little closer by the end of it.

One decision that could've helped the Mavs gain some much-needed momentum in the second quarter when they only scored eight points happened with 5:18 remaining.

James Harden shot a 3-pointer over Maxi Kleber, and Kleber played excellent defense to contest Harden who was red-hot in this game. Kleber had a hand in Harden's face on this play, and at the end of it, Harden kicked his leg out which made contact with Kleber and the referees called a foul.

Considering Harden has been an outstanding free-throw shooter for his whole career combined with the fact that it was clear that Harden kicked his leg out, the Mavs should have challenged this play. It would have saved them three points, and the Clippers already had so much momentum going their way.

After this play, the Clippers went on a 12-2 run and the Mavs didn't make a shot in those final five minutes of the second quarter.

Challenging this play could have stopped the bleeding for Dallas and possibly shifted the momentum some and lit a fire under the Mavs.

While challenging or not challenging a play always seems to fall on the head coach, he is not always the one making this decision. The members of the Mavs coaching staff who rewatch the plays after they happen may not have been able to watch the play quickly enough or they could have told Kidd not to challenge.

One play doesn't define a game, but the Mavs not challenging a play that clearly would have gone their way in one of their worst quarters of the season was not ideal for them getting back on track in that game.

Dallas' next chance to get revenge on the Clippers is tomorrow night.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned