Rotation mistake Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd must avoid: 3. Forgetting defense
The Mavs defense has kept them from finishing higher the last two seasons and forced the team into the underdog role in the playoffs. Their lack of perimeter options came back to bite them in both postseason matchups against the LA Clippers. The Mavericks added two perimeter defensive upgrades in Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown, and coach Kidd cannot forget about getting stops when crafting his lineups.
Dallas could play small with four shooters around Luka Doncic, but if that unit cannot defend well, the Mavs are likely to lose a shootout. Kidd needs to keep some combination of Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith, Sterling Brown, and Maxi Kleber on the floor to make sure the team’s defense is in order.
Kidd must account for the matchup too. Starting Finney-Smith at the four against the Lakers would be problematic with Anthony Davis most likely filling that role for LA. Dallas would be better served to start Kleber at the four next to Kristaps Porzingis to make sure the defensive matchups are in order, a move that frees Doe-Doe to move to the three and take on LeBron James.
Dallas Mavericks head coach has talked about improving on the defensive end of the floor since he took over the job. Carlisle talked about it frequently too, but the team never made the jump. It will be a massive mistake if Kidd forgets about defense this season.