Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd says star Luka Doncic needs to ‘rely on his teammates’ this season. The former NBA MVP said that the Slovenian rookie needs to learn how to play with others, as opposed to relying on individual talent.
Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd says star Luka Doncic needs to rely on his teammates this season.
DALLAS, Texas — One of the first things new Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told superstar point guard Luka Doncic was to trust his teammates more.
During Monday’s media day, Kidd, the Hall of Fame point guard who was a key part of the Mavs’ lone title season, brought up the problem.
“I’m not sure if anybody told Picasso that he had to use every single paint, but I just want to remind him that he can count on his teammates,” Kidd added. “His teammates will be there to assist him. I’m ecstatic to have the chance to work with a young Picasso, whose paintings have already been great and are just going to become better.”
Because of the enormous offensive burden he bears, the Mavs are worried that Doncic, a two-time All-NBA pick, may tire out late in games. Last season, he topped the NBA with a usage rate of 36.0 percent, which rose to a league-high 40.4 percent during the playoffs, when the Dallas Mavericks were ousted in the first round by the Los Angeles Clippers despite Doncic averaging 35.7 points and 10.3 assists in the seven-game series.
“I believe there are a lot of things I can improve on, both off and on the court,” said Doncic, who signed a five-year, $207 million supermax contract deal this summer. “This is, without a doubt, one of them. I believe he is correct.”
Forward/center thrust Kristaps Porzingis, in particular, is a player Kidd believes will play a bigger offensive role this season than in the past.
Porzingis, who is in the third year of a five-year, $158 million contract with the Knicks, had been irritated by former coach Rick Carlisle, who made him seem like an afterthought rather than a co-star. Porzingis’ role was reduced during last season’s playoffs, when he averaged 13.1 points while mainly being utilized to spread the court by standing in the corner.
“To put it simply, I want KP to be a basketball player,” Kidd said, predicting Porzingis would start at power forward when the Mavs start games with large lines. “There are no restrictions on shooting just threes. I want him to be able to roll, shoot the midrange, and put the ball on the floor. I don’t want him to be restricted to shooting threes or crashing from the corner. I want him to be at ease on the floor in any position. I believe he is a weapon. He’s much too good a shooter to be unable to make midrange shots.”
Carlisle, who was highly influenced by statistics, didn’t want Porzingis to often operate out of the post or attempt midrange shots. In 100 regular-season games with the Mavs, Porzingis has made 166 of 433 (38.3%) midrange shots.
Porzingis, on the other hand, has been told by Kidd that “there is no poor shot” for him.
“It’s simply going to be more of my game,” said Porzingis, who had a career-high.582 true shooting % last season while averaging 20.1 points per game. “I’ll be able to write more often and be useful in such circumstances. I’ve been mostly utilized as a spacer and shooter of threes, but I don’t believe that’s my whole game. There’s more to my game than meets the eye. I gained a lot of knowledge. I made the necessary adjustments to my game, but I’m looking forward to being used to my full potential.”
Porzingis, who has undergone surgery on both knees throughout his career and was recuperating from one at the start of last season, is expected to benefit greatly from having a complete healthy summer to focus on his game, according to the organization.
“I believe he’s in much better condition this year, particularly psychologically,” Doncic said. “When we play pickup, you can see him having a good time, and I believe he’ll have a fantastic season this year.”
Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said that star Luka Doncic needs to rely on his teammates this season. Reference: is jason kidd white.
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