Dallas Mavericks defensive improvement: 1. Forcing turnovers
Coach Jason Kidd has talked about how he wants the Mavericks to improve in steals and deflections after finishing 30th and 29th respectively last season. Creating a turnover ends a possession and should lead to a few easy buckets every game on the other end of the floor.
Fans have seen the Mavs jumping passing lanes and trying to create havoc on defense. Kristaps Porzingis stole an inbounds pass against the Hornets and drew a foul on a layup attempt.
Dallas is not going to be last in steals this season. They are playing with too much energy and forcing too many rushed attempts to do so. Charlotte had 22 turnovers on Oct. 13, including 17 in the first three quarters.
This play was the perfect example of the Mavs jumping passing lanes and forcing the Hornets to speed things up.
How much has the Mavericks defense improved? That is impossible to say at this point, but there have been tangible upgrades from last season. Coach Kidd stopped short of setting a goal for his team as he just wants them to execute the gameplan. So far, so good on that.
The Dallas Mavericks want to jump into title contention this season, and defensive improvement is a necessary piece of that puzzle, so fans should be watching closely to see how they perform when the games start counting.