Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks open practice: 2. Aggressive D
Coach Jason Kidd has made defense an emphasis during training camp after the Mavs finished 21st in defensive rating last season. To become title contenders, they will need to take a significant step forward on this end of the floor, and Kidd is hoping a scheme change will spark his team.
Fans got their first look at the new defense during open practice. Getting the scheme down is still a work-in-progress, but it is clear that the Mavs are going to be aggressive. They were jumping passing lanes and trying to create turnovers on Sunday. Dallas was 30th in steals and 29th in deflections last season, and Kidd called out those numbers during a session with the media this week. The Mavericks want to improve and up their aggressiveness.
In pick-and-roll situations, they were fighting over screens and trying to stay on their matchup. It will be interesting to see how much switching the Dallas Mavericks do this season. During open practice, it appears they do not want to give up those potential mismatches.
Coach Kidd had Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell trading off possessions guarding the opposition’s big man. Kleber exploited the Unicorn’s defense on the perimeter on a couple of occasions, and it will be interesting to see how the Mavs use KP this season.