Jason Kidd, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and former All-Star with the Mavs, became the 13th head coach in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19 this season.
The Mavs (20-18) won four games in the row and moved into the #5 seed in the Western Conference playoff seeding. Kidd is out indefinitely and will not coach the Mavs next couple of games. The Mavs visit the Houston Rockets tonight, and the Mavs host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
Assistant coach Sean Sweeney will take over head coaching duties for the Mavs until Kidd is able to clear COVID health and safety protocols.
The Mavs had as many as 11 players in COVID protocol while struggle to fend off an outbreak. Nine of those players returned to action, but they still have two out including center Kristaps ‘Unicorn’ Porzingis and backup center Boban Marjanovic.
The Mavs are +4000 odds to win the 2022 NBA title, and +1600 odds to win the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies sit in first place in the Southwest Division, but the Mavs are five games back in second place. The Grizzlies are favorites to win the Southwest at -250 odds, while the Mavs are +175 odds to win the division for a second season in a row.
Kidd is a long shot at +3000 odds to win NBA Coach of the Year.
Kidd: Back to the Big D
You might remember Kidd as a pro baller. He spent eight seasons with the Mavs during two stints as their point guard. He’s currently in his first season as the head coach with his former team. Kidd previously coached the Brooklyn Nets for one season in 2013-14, and coached the Milwaukee Bucks for 3.5 seasons before they fired him in the middle of the 2017-18 season.
The Mavs had a massive shakeup last offseason after dealing with an internal power struggle. Rick Carlisle stepped down after 13 years as head coach of the Mavs, which included a championship run in 2011. The organization fired long-time general manager Donnie Nelson, which in turn led to Carlisle stepping down. Apparently both Nelson and Carlisle clashed with Haralabob Voulgaris, who headed up the quantitative research and analytics department. Voulgaris did not re-up his contract with the team.
Kidd took over for a team in turmoil, but he also had to keep superstar Luka Doncic happy, while trying to build the Mavs into a championship contender. Doncic struggled earlier in the season after he came into the season overweight and out of shape. He suffered an ankle injury and also fought off a bout of COVID before finally returning to the lineup after missing three weeks of action. About a month ago, the Mavs bottomed out at 11-12 after going 2-8 over a 10-game span.
After Doncic returned last week, the Mavs went 3-0 and extended their winning streak to four games, marking their best stretch of the season.