Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dallas Mavericks Need More From Kyrie Irving

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The Dallas Mavericks lost Game 2 on Sunday evening to the Boston Celtics, going down 0-2 in the 2024 NBA Finals. If they want any chance of climbing back into this series, they are going to need better performances from Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving has been a major disappointment through the first two games of the series. After scoring 30+ points in three out of the four Dallas Mavericks victories in the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he has been ice cold against his former team in Boston.

“He’s not alone, and we are going to tell him that,” Irving said of Luka Doncic. “He’s spilling into his emotions, feels like he could play better, just like me. I would take the brunt of the responsibility. The first two games weren’t the best for me.”

Through two games, Kyrie Irving has shot 13-of-37, including 0-for-8 from 3-point range. As shared by ESPN, he is doing a lot of his shooting off the dribble, attempting to create for himself and it isn’t working.

He is currently 10-of-31 when shooting off the dribble, coming out to 32.3 percent. In the rest of the NBA Playoffs leading up to the Finals, he was shooting 42.9 percent on such shot attempts, including 21-of-58 from 3-point range.

“A lot of shots were hitting the back rim,” said Irving, who is 0-of-8 from 3-point range in the series. “That could piss you off as a competitor, but it’s all part of the game of basketball. And you have to accept the ups and downs of this. That’s, I would say, the toughest challenge when you’re in a series. You want to play extremely well, especially when you’re playing in a Finals.

“A little disappointed in myself not being able to convert a lot more on my opportunities that I have in the lane. Obviously, I’m going against Jrue Holiday and Jaylen Brown a few times, but I feel like I have the upper edge on certain possessions where I’ve just got to convert.”

After finding themselves in a deep hole in the first half of Game 1, the Dallas Mavericks did build some momentum out of halftime. They cut what was once a 29-point lead down to eight. But, their chances of putting real game pressure on the Celtics were torpedoed by missed shots and turnovers by Kyrie Irving killing momentum.

He has to play better for the Dallas Mavericks to get back into this series. Doncic is doing all that he can while fighting through several ailments and injuries. But, he cannot do it alone, especially against a team that is as strong as the Celtics on both ends of the court.

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