Monday, March 10, 2008

Johnson: “Get on the same page”

One 20-point win does not mean all is well. Whether it’s a positive start remains to be see. The Mavs do have a chance to build some momentum, with New York being the second of five consecutive opponents with losing records.

The first 10 games with Jason Kidd are in the books, and Avery Johnson addressed the progress earlier today.

“We’ve really had to take a hard look at our defense, first of all,” he said. “We can’t give up 100-and-something points a game and be a good team.

“I thought we were slightly improved in some areas the last game looking at our technique and just getting everybody on the same page. Because if two men are thinking something different on defense, it confuses our whole defense.”

The Mavs gave up 99.5 points on 44.9 percent shooting during those 10 games. Points allowed are up 3.5 from regular-season averages, while the shooting percentage is exactly the same.

Johnson didn’t expect the transition process with Kidd, and also Malik Allen and Antoine Wright, would take this long. But that’s also become a tired excuse.

“The trade is over now,” Johnson said. “No more excuses about the trade. Now we’re all Mavericks and at some point you have to get some stuff out of your system. That’s what we’ve told Kidd and Malik Allen and even Wright, who is playing a little bit now.

“This is the way we like to do it and everybody has to get on the same page, because we can’t have the Mavericks that’s been here and some our new guys thinking two different things. That’s unacceptable now.”

Kidd agreed, especially regarding the mistakes being made without the ball.

“Coach’s principles are a lot different than New Jersey, so that’s probably the side that I’m a little bit behind on and trying to catch up,” Kidd said. “But 10 games in now, I have no excuses for making mistakes on the defensive end.”

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