Jason Kidd lauded for playing Dante Exum in crucial Game 4 against Celtics

The Dallas Mavericks, in commanding fashion, prevented the Celtics from sweeping and live to fight another day. But it was one Jason Kidd coaching decision that gave them the extra boost.
2024 NBA Finals - Game Four
2024 NBA Finals - Game Four / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Game 4 of the NBA Finals was not the last game of the 2023-2024 season, as the Dallas Mavericks handled the Boston Celtics by a score of 122-84. It was a surprising outcome considering Joe Mazzulla's team came out so strong to begin the series, winning three games in a row.

The Mavs showed heart and proved why they ended up in the Finals to begin with, thanks to one specific coaching decision of playing Dante Exum by Jason Kidd that gave them the extra boost.

The Smoking Cuban's Nick Weber thought Game 4 saw one of Kidd's most superb chess moves.

“Kidd decided to roll the dice by playing Dante Exum in the first half, and it ended up being an outstanding decision,” Weber prefaced before saying, “Exum provided amazing energy for the entirety of his minutes, and his performance in the first half is what really helped get the Mavs going.”

Exum came into the game and scored 10 points while shooting 4/7 from the field and 2/4 from three-point land all across his 14 minutes of play — talk about efficiency. He was making an impact by doing the little things, similar to Celtics' Derrick White in a sense.

What do the Celtics need to do heading into Game 5?

The Celtics are right where they want to be, but they need to take all of the good things they were doing from the first three games and pour them out one last time.

The playmaking, shot-making, defense, and production off the bench are just some examples of what Boston was doing to take their commanding series lead.

Despite the loss, the momentum of winning the NBA championship still lies in their hands, especially coming back home and performing in front of their fans at the TD Garden. There wouldn't be a better way to celebrate Banner No. 18.

The Larry O'Brien Trophy is waiting to be hoisted — just four more quarters of great basketball is the answer.