Wednesday’s Dallas Mavericks loss to the Philadelphia 76ers was a tough one considering what’s at stack in terms of the team’s postseason hopes. The defeat dropped Dallas’ record to 37-40 for the season, which has them sitting one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final Play-In Tournament spot.
Despite their rough record, the Mavs still have an extremely talented duo in Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.
After his team’s 116-108 win over Dallas, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers discussed his gameplan for defending the explosive offensive-duo.
“We switched a lot of it,’ Rivers said via the TJ Sports USA YouTube channel. “The second half we switched… Because it’s tough. We trap one, which we know they haven’t seen a lot. But, we pre-rotated with the next guy… That was our whole thing in the second half, just make them pick the ball up and then rotate. You’re so much better doing that than them exploring. They’re both just so talented. That’s where I thought Jalen’s defense in that stretch on Kyrie was huge for us. We were covering one-on-one, we didn’t have to commit another guy to the ball. I thought that was a turning point for us.”
Kyrie Irving Discusses Future with Mavs After Loss to 76ers
Irving also had some thoughts to share after Dallas’ loss in Philly. He shared that he’d come to peace with the long-term goal of the Mavericks, essentially saying he’s trusting the process.
“I think the realistic view is that when I came here, this was going to be a growing process,” Irving said via Sports Illustrated’s Grant Afseth. “This was for the long term, and this was for something that’s bigger than ourselves, and we can’t just be a championship team overnight, especially me coming here. So I think I’ve wrapped my head around that aspect of it. I’m at peace with it. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on this season or any of my teammates are, but we know where we realistically are, and our destiny is in some other team’s hands losing games. So we just got to control what we can control and focus on the next few possessions that we have in these next games against some really good teams that want to position themselves for the playoffs. We’re fighting for a spot, so I look forward to the challenge. But again, in the last six minutes of the game, I felt like we could have been better clear, including myself.”
Kyrie Irving Talks Adjustments Since Joining Mavs
While he’s at peace with the team’s goals, Irving did have some frustrations to air about adjusting to the new environment.
“Just human nature, man,” he said of Dallas’ struggles and him fitting into a new situation via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “I’m getting traded to a new work environment, and it’s just a lot of newness. I’m trying to introduce myself to everybody, figure out, you know, who do guys go to on the team to confide in off the court? Who is our coaching staff as people? Upper management, who are they as people? What do they expect from me? The big question, why they traded for me? And, you know, what does it look like for the future? That’s the big question. What does our future look like? What does our future look like? I think that now, again, just where we are in the season, and where other teams are positioned already, it kind of looks like a bit of a clusterf***, to be honest with you, because we’re 37-40, and we’re trying to fight to get into the play-in game.”