Jason Kidd's genius decision propels Mavericks to Game 4 win over Celtics

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks were fighting for their lives heading into Friday night's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics, as they were going to do everything in their power to avoid a sweep.

The Mavs were coming off a narrow loss in Game 3, and Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was getting some criticism following that loss due to Tim Hardaway Jr.'s extended playing time. Hardaway Jr. didn't make an impact in that game, and it was clear that Kidd couldn't trust him in that game.

It's hard to blame Kidd considering that he was doing his best to find that third scorer and a spark off the bench, and Kidd ended up finding that in Game 4 as Dallas got the 122-84 win at home.

Jason Kidd's decision to play Dante Exum propels Mavericks to Game 4 win

Kidd decided to roll the dice by playing Dante Exum in the first half, and it ended up being an outstanding decision. Exum provided amazing energy for the entirety of his minutes, and his performance in the first half is what really helped get the Mavs going.

Exum finished with five points in the first half with a three and a strong layup, but he also made another three that later got called back because he stepped out of bounds earlier in that play. Exum's confidence finally returned, and he proved that Kidd could trust him going forward in this series.

Exum's defense also continues to be strong, and Kidd will likely utilize him once again in Game 5 in Boston. Exum could be the X-factor that the Mavs desperately need to extend this series, and Kidd's decision to roll with him over Hardaway Jr. early in this game paid off in the end.

Hardaway Jr. ended up draining five threes late in the game, which should work wonders for his confidence, and maybe the Hardaway Jr. of old is back. Exum ended the game with 10 points on 4-7 shooting, and Kidd's decision to play him despite him not playing much in the game prior paid off.

Dallas has to play wiith the same urgency in Game 5 that they did in Game 4, and if their defense can continue to play lights out, the Mavs will be in a great position.

For all the latest on Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks for the remainder of the 2024 NBA Finals, stay tuned as we'll have you covered.