Mavs coach Jason Kidd frustrated after ‘passive’ Game 1 of series vs. Clippers

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The Mavericks just played their worst-offensive first half in the franchise’s playoff history and their coach couldn’t hide his frustrations after the match. Jason Kidd call out his squad for their “passive” performance in Game 1 of the first-round series agains the Clippers, and showed concern for their poor shooting. 

According to the former player, his team allowed their opponents to dominate them physically. “They were physical and we were passive,” the Dallas tactician said after their 109-97 defeat in the opener of the playoffs, in a contest in which they were losing by 26 points at halftime.

Despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard was absent due to his right knee injury, teammate James Harden took his place below the spotlight and dropped 20 of his 28 points in total during the first two quarters. Another who set the tone early in the game was center Ivica Zubac, who controlled the airwaves with his blocks and high pressure.

While the Croatian hit 10 of his postseason career-high 20 points just in the first 12 minutes of the game, he was also able to dominate rival big man Daniel Gafford. By halftime, the L.A. club had a 24-8 advantage in the paint.

The Mavs center acknowledged his frustration. “I just didn’t come out ready to play, in all honesty,” shared Gafford, who wasn’t able to earn a single rebound in the first 14 minutes, and only scored 3 points.

“I have to be better when it comes to me being a starter on the floor. I have to be able to be better in areas that I’ve always succeeded in throughout the regular season. I got to come out and I got to play playoff basketball, not what I showed out tonight,” he said.

Once the first half was done, the Texan club showed their true colours. Despite trailing by 26 points at that point, they were still able to build a worthy response and ended the game losing by 8. The Los Angeles squad, who played at home at the this Sunday, maintained a double-digit lead for almost 37 minutes.

Dallas star Kyrie Irving explained that a lot of his teammates aren’t used to the “physicality” of playoff contention

Once the match was over, Kyrie Irving recognized his team’s flaws and explained how many of his teammates don’t have enough playoff experience and failed to be physical during Game 1 of their first-round series. “It really centered around the foundational point of talking about physicality and this being the playoffs,” he said.

“A lot of guys aren’t used to being here. A few young guys aren’t used to being here, so they don’t know what they can get away with and what the refs are going to call,” the guard added. “I think this was a great first test for us. We obviously failed and we came out with a loss, but I think there are some things we can take into Game 2.”

According to ESPN, Dallas produced their lowest-scoring quarter of the season in the second, only dropping in 8 points in total. Team stars Luka Doncic and Irving combined for a 64-point performance, but only scored 17 in the first half.

About their 5-of-19 shooting in the first two quarters, the Slovenian wished they had entered the contest with a more aggressive stance. “I just got to stay aggressive,” Doncic said. “That was my bad in the first half. I wasn’t aggressive enough.”