Countdown: It's a sprint, not a marathon
It will be a whirlwind for sure, and Kidd, who will turn 39 during a particularly brutal stretch in March, will be most affected by the sprint to the April 26 regular-season finish line, which is followed by the postseason two days later. Anyone who saw Kidd play during the final month of last season saw a tired, dragging player. We know Kidd must be fresh entering the playoffs for the Mavs to stand a chance.
We also know that keeping Kidd as spry as possible begins right now during training camp.
"We're not going to kill him in training camp," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We're going to make sure we have him for 66 games."
Dallas has good depth at shooting guard and both forward spots, and they wouldn't mind adding another serviceable center. As of Monday night, the Mavs addressed a gaping hole behind Kidd by signing Delonte West, 28, to a one-year deal. Otherwise, Dallas was looking at likely forcing Jason Terry to split time between the guard spots because Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones just haven't developed yet as reliable point guards for a team gunning for a repeat.
And to repeat, Kidd must be well-rested by the time April 28 rolls around. That's the day the playoffs start.
Kidd averaged about 36 minutes per game two seasons ago and was a mess in the first-round loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Carlisle recognized that and was able to reduce Kidd's minutes to about 33 per game last season. The plan this season is to get him down to 30 or fewer.
With J.J. Barea now playing in Minnesota, ensuring that the future Hall of Famer gets the rest he needs is in the hands of Delonte West.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.