Jason Kidd didn’t hold back in his assessment of the Dallas Mavericks’ poor play after they lost their third straight game on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Mavs actually played a good game offensively. Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie and Christian Wood combined for 72 points in the game, with the team shooting 52.4 percent from the field overall and 38.1 percent from deep. The problem, however, was Dallas defense as they allowed the Hawks to drop 130 on them.
Eight Hawks players actually scored in double-figures, with Dejounte Murray leading the way with 30. Murray was the only Hawk to score more than 20, but their balanced scoring fueled by the Mavs’ pitiful defense gave them the edge.
In his postgame presser, Kidd emphasized that the Mavs must do their job on the defensive end as well if they want to win, adding that it won’t matter that they have a transcendent offensive talent in Doncic if they can’t make stops.
“If it’s with this personnel, then you’ve got to keep asking or demanding for those guys to play defense. It’s not just the offensive end. … It’s a shootaround. In this league, if you do that, no matter if you have Luka or Kareem or LeBron, you’re going to lose. It doesn’t matter how many points you score, you’re always going to be short, ” Kidd said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
The 130-122 loss to the Hawks is actually the Mavs’ third straight game that they allowed an opponent to score at least 130 on them. In their past two matches against the Portland Trail Blazers, they allowed Damian Lillard and co. to drop 136 and 140, respectively.
As Jason Kidd said, the Mavs really need to tighten up their defense. They remain fifth in the West for now, but it’s not hard to see them falling further in the standings if they don’t start fixing their defensive woes.