Jason Kidd had a message for his star point guard, Luka Doncic, after Friday night's loss to the Pelicans.
With frustration boiling over for Doncic and the Mavs during the tough loss to 7-18 New Orleans, the two-time All-Star was seen lobbying the officials for more favorable calls on several occasions.
But while speaking with reporters after the game, Kidd indicated that those discussions may have been hurting the team, and suggested Doncic try a different approach.
"I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more," Kidd said when asked about Doncic's huddles with the officials, per ESPN. "You're not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there's a point in time in games -- dead balls -- to be able to talk to officials.
"While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we've talked about that we have to get better. If we're lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm's way. ... Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we're going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials. Not just Luka."
Doncic has long taken to pleading with officials in-game, to the frustration of some fans and observers who feel that the back-and-forth distracts from team play.
But on Friday night, Doncic conceded that he has to be better.
"J. Kidd, he has a point," Doncic said. "I"ve got to stop doing that."
The Pelicans appeared to switch up their defensive game plan from Wednesday night, when Doncic led a 139-point Mavericks onslaught.
New Orleans wing Garrett Temple was assigned to Doncic on Friday night, and said the idea was to harass him into settling for tough shots rather than facilitating another offensive barrage.
On this night at least, it seemed to work.
Doncic, of course, thought the stepped-up defensive attention went too far.
At one point, while pleading with a ref over a non-call, Doncic appeared to show them marks on his arms where he'd supposedly been fouled, and asked, "Why do you hate me?"
In the previous matchup against the Pelicans, cameras appeared to catch Doncic saying, "Oh my god the refs are bad."