Why the Luka and Kyrie Partnership Fails to Help Mavs
It is quite easy for Mavericks fans to get excited about the potential dynamic duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic teaming up together. On paper, it sounds like it may be one of the greatest backcourts ever. The combination of those two may seem powerful and potent enough to override the issues that the Dallas Mavericks have. It has become pretty clear that this is not the case.
While it seemed like a lot of pundits were overhyping the trade and acting like it was a game-changer, I utilized a concept that is becoming increasingly less common: it's called common sense. Besides having the combo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks do not possess one strength that will threaten any contender in the Western Conference. The Mavericks only possess the ability to score a lot. Once you get past that, this team has quite a few holes.
It may seem like Mark Cuban may need to call Dennis Rodman and/or Charles Barkley to give this team a much-needed seminar in terms of rebounding. At the moment, the Dallas Mavericks are 29th in the NBA in terms of rebounding. The only team that they outpace with regards to rebounding is the Brooklyn Nets. This is no shock to me because they possess no interior presence that could give them a fighting chance on the glass against most opponents. This rebounding ranking for the Mavs exists in spite of the fact that Luka averages nearly nine rebounds per game.
There's no doubt that the Mavericks gained with regards to offense once they got Kyrie Irving. However, the Mavericks lost a great deal of perimeter defense when they traded Spencer Dinwiddie. It's safe to say that Kyrie Irving will not fill the void when it comes to that. As of a few days ago, the Dallas Mavericks were allowing opponents to shoot nearly 52% from the field since Kyrie Irving joined the team. This was the worst opposing field goal percentage in the NBA. Before the Kyrie Irving trade, opponents shot 48% from the field. Therefore, the defense for the Mavericks has gotten a lot worse since the trade.
And of course, there is not much depth on this basketball team. This scenario did not get better as a result of the trade. Thus, it leaves the Mavericks vulnerable in a scenario in which Luka and Kyrie aren't on the court due to injury. This was the case last night as the Mavericks lost by 16 to a Ja Morant-less Grizzlies team. The Mavericks are now under .500. Instead of ascending towards the top of the West, they are smack dab in the middle of a play-in tournament scenario.
Just as I predicted before the trade, the Mavericks' vulnerabilities will not be cured by the Kyrie Irving trade. If anything, they've gotten worse.
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