1994-1997: Dallas Mavericks
Head Coaches: Dick Motta, Jim Cleamons
(Ignore the Jordan highlights. Or don’t. Actually, don’t. But for the sake of this, ignore them.)
Jason Kidd’s early days were individually successful, if not team successful. The ’94-’97 Mavericks struggled to score efficiently, which is rare for a team led by Jason Kidd. But the ’96 Mavs may have been ahead of their time offensively. Injuries to players in their frontcourt forced Motta to play “smallball,” adopting an aggressive playing style that resulted in a barrage of three-point attempts. This Mavericks team held records for three-pointers attempted in a game (49), threes made in a half (12) and even had one player hoist 20 threes in an individual game.
A story in ’96 quotes Jason Kidd about his desire to play without set calls from the sideline:
“It’s a dream come true for any ballplayer to go out there and really don’t have too many plays to call,” Kidd said. “Any basketball player will enjoy having that freedom (to shoot).”
Chance of being installed: 5%
The odds are likely that Jason Kidd, a player who made his career in transition, would prefer an up-tempo, pushing the pace style, but what was done in Dallas those years was gimmicky and done out of necessity. Motta himself stated his desire to play more traditional, but their lack of big men forced his hand and their tempo. The Nets don’t have that lack of big men — knock on wood that Brook Lopez stays healthy — so this doesn’t make sense. Players in the system described it as “streetball” or “playing in the park” which are not characteristics you’re likely to find in championship-level offenses.