Kyrie Irving’s Mavericks adjustment hasn’t been straightforward


The Kyrie Irving-Luka Doncic period has not been an immediate success.

Dallas is 3-5 total because the Irving commerce — and has misplaced 4 of its previous 5 contests, with the Mavericks’ lone win in that stretch coming towards the 15-47 San Antonio Spurs.

The newest defeat got here on Tuesday night time in Dallas when Irving missed a step-back go-ahead 3-pointer on the sport’s closing possession in a 124-122 loss to the Pacers.

“I just appreciate the coaching staff and my teammates trusting me with that shot and just the comfort they gave me afterwards,” Irving stated after the sport.

Irving admitted that there’s strain to place all of it collectively in Dallas after a midseason commerce pushed the Mavericks among the many favorites to win the NBA Championship.

“Really want to win here, really put a lot of pressure on myself at times,” Irving stated. “I feel I must scale it again a bit of bit, simply because the second half of the season, simply feeling like we’ve received to be nice each single possession, and normally these studying curves or studying moments occur in preseason, and it’s occurring now.

Kyrie Irving #2 of the Dallas Mavericks watches his final second shot within the second half towards the Indiana Pacers
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“So it definitely puts a glaring eye on what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. Easy to criticize, but for us, I’ve just got to focus on being the best that I can be and showing up for not only Luka, but for my teammates.”

The Mavericks don’t have a lot time to determine issues out — and it isn’t a easy answer.

These two gamers love having the ball of their palms. Doncic leads the league in isolation possessions per sport (7.3), whereas Irving is ninth within the league (4.8).

Dallas was by no means an elite defensive crew, however because the commerce, they’re permitting groups to shoot 52.3 p.c, the worst quantity within the NBA.

Kyrie Irving #2 and teammate Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks
Getty Images

Those defensive numbers are considerably worse than the 48.4 p.c previous to the All-Star break, which was nonetheless backside 5 within the NBA.

The Mavericks have pivotal video games towards the 76ers and Suns arising this week.

Dallas, with a 32-31 document, sits in seventh place within the Western Conference and proper in the midst of a tightly-bunched pack of playoff contenders.

The Mavericks are 1 1/2 video games behind the Suns, who’re the No. 4 seed, however solely two video games forward of the Thirteenth-placed Thunder.

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