Why Kidd considers Dubs' zone defense ‘biggest compliment'


The shots that didn't fall for the Mavericks in the first three games of the Western Conference finals finally started dropping in their 119-109 win over the Warriors in Game 4 at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.

After shooting 41 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from 3-point range in their three losses, the Mavericks made 50 percent of their shots Tuesday night, including 46.5 percent of their 3-pointers.

That allowed the Mavericks to build a 15-point halftime lead and a 29-point third quarter lead, though the Warriors' bench unit almost erased the deficit in the fourth quarter, cutting Dallas' lead to as little as eight points.

"We felt all along we were getting great looks," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told reporters after Game 4. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't in this series so far. It's a matter of making shots."

That's when Kidd took a bit of a jab at the defense the Warriors have relied on during the series.

"The biggest compliment we've gotten is they got to play zone because they can't play us 1-on-1, right?" Kidd said. "And so this is a championship DNA team and they're giving you a compliment that they can't guard you. It's pretty cool. And they're winning the series, but we believe if we can continue to keep getting the shots that we got -- if we make them, it puts pressure on them."

While Andrew Wiggins has been the primary defender on Mavericks superstar Luka Dončić, the Warriors often times have used a zone defense to try to slow Dallas down. For the better part of three games, it worked.

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Despite what Kidd said, the Warriors likely won't abandon their defensive gameplan in Game 5 at Chase Center on Thursday night.

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