5 Obvious, 5 subtle moves Jason Kidd must make to turn Mavs into legit contenders

Washington Wizards v Dallas Mavericks
Washington Wizards v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
1 of 10

The Dallas Mavericks are currently 36-28 after back-to-back wins over the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons, and they have gotten back to playing better after an extremely concerning stretch of games where they lost five of six.

Dallas' poor defense was at the root of it all, and it didn't seem like the team had good energy, effort, or communication either. This was happening at the worst possible time considering that every game matters, but now Dallas is back on the right track of turning their playoff hopes into a reality.

Although the Mavs are playing much better, there are still some things that they could improve upon.

5 Obvious, 5 subtle moves Jason Kidd must make to turn Mavs into legit contenders

This team is far from being NBA Finals contenders, and there may be a few moves that Jason Kidd can make to help this squad.

Kidd has been scrutinized by many for the team's performance as of late, but a deep playoff run could keep him around for the next couple of seasons rather than Dallas making a coaching change.

Here are five subtle and five obvious moves that Jason Kidd must take to turn the Dallas Mavericks into legit playoff contenders.

10. Obvious: Close games with Dante Exum

On Thursday night against the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks guard Dante Exum showcased the exact type of player he can be for Dallas. Exum hadn't been great since returning from injury, but this is the type of game that the Mavs need from Exum consistently.

Exum finished with 13 points, four rebounds, and five assists while shooting 3-5 from the field, 2-2 from downtown, and 5-5 from the free-throw line. He made big plays when it mattered most, including some clutch free throws, a big 3-pointer, a beautiful fadeaway in the middle of the lane, and superb defense.

Exum also was a great creator in this game and he seemed to gain some of his confidence back. He made it clear that he needs to be in the closing lineup alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, as he is a great defender and shooter off the catch.

He can also be trusted as a ball handler when needed, and his composure was big for the Mavs in that game. Exum has what it takes to close games out, and the Mavs will benefit if Jason Kidd chooses to keep Exum in the team's clutch lineup.