The Dallas Mavericks are looking to make a serious playoff run down the stretch of the season. They’ve struggled for the majority of the season, but at the trade deadline, they took a major swing, trading for Kyrie Irving. It was a huge risk, but if it all works out, it could seriously improve this team’s ceiling.
On Monday night, they dropped a close game to the Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas collapsed in the fourth quarter after Irving got injured and was unable to come up clutch in the final frame. After the game, Christian Wood talked about how great of a teammate Irving is.
“Kyrie, he’s an unselfish superstar,” Wood said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “He lets the game come to him. He’s been setting a lot of screens for me to get a switch and for me to get the mismatch. Or he will have a big on him for him to get the mismatch, and we kind of went back and forth and tried to figure that out. Like I said, in the fourth quarter, we’re going to need him. We’re gonna trust him to take those shots and shoot those shots. I think his ankle was bothering him a little bit down the stretch, but I believe, over time, he’s going to make those shots in the fourth quarter. I think he leads the league in fourth-quarter points. Pretty sure.”
Irving played well against the Grizzlies, but in the final quarter, he shot 0-for-8 from the field. The Mavericks superstar finished the game with 28 points, four rebounds, one steal, and two blocks on 10-of-24 shooting from the floor and 2-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Wood, he put up 20 points, nine rebounds, and six assists on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 1-of-3 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Jason Kidd Sounds Off on Jaden Hardy
In addition, after the game, head coach Jason Kidd spoke about Jaden Hardy’s performance after the contest. The young guard was the only player who made a field goal in the final quarter, churning in a solid performance.
“Looking at Hardy, he stepped on someone’s foot when he was backtracking,” Kidd said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “So, [me] and the rest of the coaching staff looked at going with some experience once we thought he was hurt. And so, looking at that group that finished, pretty much finished in LA [as well]. And so, just understanding that group has been successful. They’ve gotten great looks. Tonight, they just didn’t go down for us. But Hardy was good to start that fourth. He was, I think, the only one who did score. But when he was backtracking, he stepped on someone’s ankle. So not just to leave them on the offensive end, but he has to participate on the defensive end, too. So, we felt we just needed someone who was healthy at that time.”
Kyrie Irving Discusses Injury & Dillon Brooks
On top of that, Irving discussed the injury he suffered during the Grizzlies game when Dillon Brooks stepped on his foot.
“Just a re-aggravation of my foot. Unfortunate play,” Irving said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “I would have felt different up here if I felt Dillon did it on purpose, but I didn’t. So, just one of those plays where he’s trailing me, and I think his feet got caught up with mine, and I twisted my ankle. So, just bad timing, but the game has to keep going on.”