Jason Kidd on Suns centers: ‘This isn’t Gobert or Whiteside. These guys can put the ball in the basket’


The Mavericks finished off the Jazz and have advanced to face the Suns in the second round.

But Dallas coach Jason Kidd isn’t done poking at Utah center Rudy Gobert.

Discussing how his team’s game plan must change against Phoenix, Kidd praised Suns centers JaVale McGee and Deandre Ayton – at the expense of Gobert and Jazz backup Hassan Whiteside.


They can hurt you in the paint with JaVale and Ayton. This isn’t Gobert or Whiteside. These guys can put the ball in the basket. So, our bigs are going to be tested.

Kidd isn’t wrong. More provocative than coaches usually are. But not wrong.

Gobert couldn’t take advantage of the Mavericks going small by scoring proficiently inside. Whiteside packed far less scoring punch in the series. Ayton and McGee – with their ability to catch the ball, elevate quickly (or elevate quickly then catch the ball) and finish – are better scorers.

They don’t defend like Gobert. But because Dallas could go small and space the floor offensively without getting punished inside defensively, that tempered Gobert’s defensive impact.

In fairness to Gobert and Whiteside, they don’t have Chris Paul setting them up while Devin Booker attracts attention. That goes a long way.

But the Mavericks are facing Ayton and McGee with Paul and Booker at guard. That is Dallas’ challenge.

And like Kidd said, it’s a stiffer one than the Jazz posed with Gobert and Whiteside.