The Dallas Mavericks fell to the New Orleans Pelicans at home on Friday night, 107-91. Luka Doncic, by his lofty standards, had an off night — 21 points on 7-for-20 shooting with a 0-for-6 clip from three, 10 rebounds, seven assists, seven turnovers — but there was one thing that caught the ire of Mavs head coach Jason Kidd.
After the game, Kidd spoke with the media and was asked about Doncic’s penchant for going to the referees while the game is ongoing to complain about non-calls. The Mavs’ coach and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee didn’t hold back, saying that Doncic puts the team “in harm’s way” when he gives the other team a numerical advantage because his focus is on the officials.
“I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more,” Kidd said, per ESPN. “You’re not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there’s a point in time in games — dead balls — to be able to talk to officials.
“While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we’ve talked about that we have to get better. If we’re lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm’s way. I think we gave up 20 fastbreak points to a team that we held to six. Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we’re going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials. Not just Luka.”
When asked about the comments, Doncic made clear that he’s on the same page as his coach.
Luka Doncic: “J Kidd, he’s got a point. I’ve got to stop doing that.” https://t.co/QcmInBXDTs
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 4, 2021
The Mavs will return to action on Saturday evening against the Memphis Grizzlies.