At just 22 years of age, Luka Doncic has already established himself as a perennial MVP candidate. Doncic is known for his crafty scoring abilities and playmaking skills, but new Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd wants Doncic to elevate his playmaking skills for the betterment of the team.
“I don’t know if anybody told Picasso that he has to use all the paints, but I just want to remind him that he can rely on his teammates,” Kidd said. “His teammates are going to be there to help him. I’m very excited to have this opportunity to work with a young Picasso whose paintings have been incredible up to this point and are only going to get better.”
Kidd knows a thing or two about trusting his teammates
In his first season with the New Jersey Nets, Jason Kidd single handedly turned them from a 26 win team the year before to a 52 win team the next year, as the other pieces on the team remained the same with the exception of Stephon Marbury, who was dealt to the Phoenix Suns in the Kidd trade.
Kidd brought the best out of the pieces surrounding him, including Kenyon Martin, Keith Van Horn, Kerry Kittles and Richard Jefferson, as the Nets were ultimately able to find their way into the 2002 NBA Finals.
Unfortunately for Kidd and the Nets, they got swept by the Los Angeles Lakers led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in 2002, but they were able to get back to the Finals in 2003, albeit they lost to Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
It was Kidd’s ability to find open teammates in their spots and get everybody to buy in as a collective team that suddenly made the Nets a dangerous team in the league, as he would dazzle the fans with his amazing passes that included alley-oop lobs and no-look passes.
Kristaps Porzingis is an important piece to the puzzle
Doncic has proven that he can lead a winning team, however, one knock on him has been his supposed relationships with some of his teammates, including Kristaps Porzingis.
However, Porzingis felt he wasn’t utilized properly last season under their former head coach Rick Carlisle. Something Kidd looks to change next season.
“The simple way to put it is, I want KP to be a basketball player,” Kidd said. “There’s no limitations on just shooting 3s. Being able to roll, to be able to shoot the midrange, to be able to put the ball on the floor — I want him to be who he is, and that’s a basketball player and not just be limited to shooting 3s or crashing from the corner. I want him to feel comfortable on the floor in any spot. I think he’s a weapon. He shoots the ball too well not to be able to shoot midrange shots.”
Kidd has an infinite amount of knowledge about the game of basketball, and seemingly has a plan on how to utilize his best players. Will it lead Dallas to more wins this upcoming season? Time will tell.