The Dallas Mavericks are in a weird spot. Based on their massive splash at this year’s trade deadline, which netted them Kyrie Irving, it’s clear that they want to compete for a championship right now. However, their roster just seems to be a step below the line of contention at the moment.
This has led to a ton of questions surrounding the potential success of the duo of Irving and Luka Doncic. However, while the outside world seems to be questioning their ability to succeed together, Doncic seems content playing alongside Irving.
“Playing with Kai is so easy,” Doncic said after Dallas’ recent win over the Philadelphia 76ers, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “He helps me a lot. The offense I don’t think is a problem. I think offensively, we’re good. It’s just the defensive end. We’ve got to get stops.”
Dallas’ win over the Sixers was a big one, as they managed to take home a 133-126 victory over a top team in the East. However, it also made Mavericks history, as Doncic and Irving became the first pair of Dallas teammates to each put up at least 40 points in a single game.
Doncic just barely got the edge on Irving, leading the team with 42 points. He also added four rebounds and 12 assists to his totals, shooting 13-of-22 from the field and 7-of-13 from three-point range.
Meanwhile, Irving dropped 40 points of his own, adding four rebounds, six assists, and three steals as well. The point guard shot 15-of-22 from the floor and 6-of-8 from distance.
But as Doncic noted, the Mavericks struggled on defense. Obviously, they gave up 126 points, but they also allowed the 76ers to shoot 57.7% from the field and 44.4% from behind the three-point arc.
The win also marked Doncic’s and Irving’s second as a duo – another concern, as they are now just 2-4 together when sharing the court. (A stat that has some Mavericks fans concerned.)
Tobias Harris Sounds Off on Mavs Duo
After the game, a lot of people were in awe of what Doncic and Irving were able to do on the court. One of those people was Sixers star Tobias Harris, who sounded off on the Mavs duo after being bested.
“Two guys [darn] near had a 100 points on us,” Harris told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. “But that was tough with one wizard with the basketball in Luka. Now they got two of them out there. So I mean, those are tough matchups. Those are some of the best guys with the basketball in the whole league. And they just picked us apart tonight just being able to get to their spots and raise up and score. You got to give them a lot of credit, too, because they made tough shots.”
Kyrie Irving Discusses Sixers Win
In addition, Irving also had some comments after the Mavericks’ win over Philadelphia. He praised his teammates, giving them the credit for his massive performance.
“I just embraced my teammates,” Irving said via House of Highlights. “It was a hard-fought game. And we did everything to make sure we were poised down the stretch. We’re just paying attention to the game plan. There’s been a few losses over last week where we felt like they were very winnable games, and it came down to the [final] stretch. You know, three points, four points, two points. So, it was definitely a different approach tonight for us as a team because we really wanted this. I really wanted this. But I think, like I said, the last time I was sitting up here, I just had to join the party. You know, and just make sure my teammates were going to follow along. And Luka was ready for the party, I was ready for the party tonight. And it was one of those games where we had some special performances, and I’m just grateful that the work translated because it could have gone either way. We could either kind of lay down and just let things happen and kind of blame it on the refs or blame it on other things, but sitting up here every single night and not having excuses. It’s knowing we just got to respond and do what’s necessary to win ball games. So, it felt good.”