Jason Does Dallas


Well, looks like Jason Kidd is getting traded to Dallas after all. The deal that eventually wound up getting made is worse for Mark Cuban's pocketbook, but better for the Mavericks, in that it winds up depriving Dallas of less depth than did the original conception of the trade. I still don't like this deal very much for Dallas, but merits aside it's worth considering the impact on Dallas' style of play.

The team still has, to some extent, the reputation it acquired during the Don Nelson / Steve Nash years of being an up-tempo run-and-gun team. In reality, under Avery Johnson the Mavs have become a sluggish, isolation-dependent team. This year they're 26th in the league in pace and 19th in terms of the proportion of baskets that come from assists. Last year's version of the team was 28th in pace. The year before they were 26th. These kinds of numbers are normally associated with an offense being "bad" since slow pace isn't amenable to high point totals and slow, isolation-oriented offenses can get kind of boring to watch. But Dallas has consistently put together a very effective offense using this style of play.

It's not, however, the kind of style you normally associate with Kidd, who's a poor shooter but an excellent passer. His Nets teams have always run a middling pace and featured many assisted baskets. Is Johnson going to try to fit Kidd into his style, and count on him mostly to provide defense and rebounding while running plays for Dallas' other scorers, or is he going to try to put together a dynamic offense more focused on Kidd's passing skills?