Dallas Mavericks journalists and fans are getting restless, with their team sitting a game under .500 at roughly the quarter-mark of the season.
Team star Luka Doncic has continued to play at an MVP level, but little else seems to be going right. Sunday's loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee was the Mavericks' fourth consecutive defeat and fifth in their last six games, dropping them to 9-10 on the season.
The quality of the supporting cast around Doncic is undoubtedly an issue -- as evidenced by the team's reported signing of oft-injured former All-Star Kemba Walker -- but so too is the allocation of minutes among Doncic's co-stars.
Most notably, Christian Wood, who is arguably the Mavericks' second-best player, has been relegated to a reserve role, logging just 25.5 minutes per game behind nominal starting center JaVale McGee and power forward Dorian Finney-Smith, while also competing for playing time with big men Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber.
Wood, acquired from the Rockets in an offseason trade, is not a perfect player by any stretch. His defense is questionable and he can be inefficient shooting the ball at times. But he is pretty clearly a cut above the others, who are best described as role players.
Yet head coach Jason Kidd does not seem keen to give Wood the minutes of a starter. Initially complicating matters was that McGee was apparently promised the starting job during the free agency process. But even when the plug was pulled on that doomed experiment, it was Powell who got the starting nod at center.
Meanwhile, Wood seems to have the support of no less than Doncic himself.
After Wood started the second half of Sunday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Doncic told reporters that he "liked" that lineup. Kidd, though, didn't seem especially impressed, even though his team outscored Milwaukee in the third quarter -- the only quarter in which they did so -- with Wood playing with the starting unit.
For Mavs fans on social media, frustration with Kidd seems to be boiling over, with the Wood situation being a focal point.
While Kidd rightly earned plaudits for guiding the Mavs to the conference finals last season -- a run that included vanquishing the top-seeded Phoenix Suns -- many fans and journalists seem to be ready to move on from the former Nets and Bucks coach.