spook in dallas

Kyrie Irving’s arrival in Dallas a month and a half ago marked a turning point for the Texan franchise. A blow on the table from the offices so that Luka Doncic, his star, would remain calm after asking for movements, level incorporations with which to continue aspiring to the maximum. From the outside, not everyone believed in this signing as a solution to the obvious sporting problems of a team that had not just started. A team that less than a year ago played the final of the West. This month and a half of competition has been giving reason to the disbelievers of the new couple, of the squad that had remained after the market closed. The Mavs have not been a better team after that date and there have been more nights of disappointment than joy. But everything is in the background before what happened this morning in Dallas. According to the bookmakers themselves, the biggest surprise so far in the regular season.

The Charlotte Hornets were visiting the American Airlines Center after losing 24 hours earlier in New Orleans, where they ended up playing with just seven players after injuries to Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr., the team’s second and third leading scorers this season. Neither of them was there today, nor was top scorer LaMelo Ball, who hasn’t played since February 27. Svi Mykhailiuk started for the first time, while James Bouknight and Theo Maledon were called up from the G League to complete a nine-man rotation that was the least bit close to a winning line-up. A team that is already one of the least outstanding of the season was in the draw and was playing for the second time in two days. With that uninspiring cocktail they arrived in Dallas. They won plenty.

At the beginning of the second quarter they led 26-45. At the beginning of the third, 69-90. The locals finally reacted and got within one point (96-97) at 8:30 from the end. The thing looked like it was going to fall under its own weight. Logic said that, albeit in a bad way, the Mavs would take the game. But this team has been working for a long time (to say the least) without any logic. Right there, when anyone would have given the finishing touch to these Hornets, so short-handed, so tired and with so little to play for, the Texans disappeared again. Right there they conceded a partial 0-10. The final shot, with the game already decided and as if it were a bad joke of fate, was to see how Dennis Smith Jr. closed the match with a triple from home on the buzzer at the end of the game. The player chosen in the first round by the Mavs in 2017, the one who was the image of the future together with Doncic when he arrived in 2018 and the one who left through the back door shortly after that season to leave all the spotlights on the Slovenian. The player who since then has gone unnoticed through the League was in charge of putting an end to the grotesque in his old home.

The Mavs are out of play. With the same record as the tenth, yes. A game from the seventh, yes. But with a lot of nerves and very few ideas. By proxy, they can still finish in the top six (the Warriors are two and a half games ahead). But the sensations and, more importantly, the recent results do not exactly call for optimism. They have lost six of the last eight meetings and the record with Doncic and Irving together on court is worse than the most pessimistic could have imagined: 3-7. And not even that the most worrying. The statements of both after the meeting are to start trembling. Irving’s, because they sound like a loss of control, like there’s no one behind the wheel. They remember, for the first time since he was in Dallas, the worst version of the point guard. This he said when he was asked about the booing towards the team from his own fans: “So what? … You obviously want to play well, but only five people on the court can play for the Dallas Mavericks. If the fans want to switch roles, I invite them to come down to the track. I’ve been working for years to be good enough to be at this level.”.

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As for Doncic, the worrying thing is that he seems to have lost the joy of playing, hope and perhaps patience: “It’s really frustrating. You can tell with me on the track. Sometimes I don’t feel like it’s me, I’m just out there, you know? I used to have a lot of fun, smiling on the court, but it’s been very frustrating for many reasons, not just basketball.”. The Mavs have eight games left to salvage a season that threatens to implode the entire project.

Statistics

44

davis bertans
25

Reggie Bullock
77

luka doncic
8

Josh Green
3

Jaden Hardy
0

Justin Holiday
2

Kyrie Irving
42

maxi cleber
0

JaVale McGee
13

markieff morris
twenty-one

Frank Ntilikina
1

Theo Pinson
7

Dwight Powell
35

Christian Wood
23

McKinley Wright II

Statistics

MinptsRTRODRAstPerrecTapT1T2T3FRCFVal
44

davis bertans
0000000000/00/00/0000
25

Reggie Bullock
3. 4660600000/00/02/4020
77

luka doncic
373. 41001085018/1010/142/9000
8

Josh Green
twenty-one330313101/21/20/1010
3

Jaden Hardy
twenty830320000/01/42/4030
0

Justin Holiday
0000000000/00/10/1020
2

Kyrie Irving
381893671115/75/81/8000
42

maxi cleber
19421100000/02/20/3020
0

JaVale McGee
0000000000/00/00/0000
13

markieff morris
0000000000/00/00/0000
twenty-one

Frank Ntilikina
twenty-one810130011/1231/3040
1

Theo Pinson
0000000000/00/00/0000
7

Dwight Powell
twenty1452321100/07/70/0020
35

Christian Wood
261461520013/44/71/3030
23

McKinley Wright II
0000000000/00/00/0000

Statistics

2

James Bouknight
twenty

Gordon Hayward
23

kai jones
9

Theo Maledon
7

Bryce McGowens
10

Svi Mykhailiuk
4

Nick Richards
3

Terry Rozier
8

Dennis Smith Jr.
twenty-one

J.T. Thor
25

PJ Washington
5

mark williams

Statistics

MinptsRTRODRAstPerrecTapT1T2T3FRCFVal
2

James Bouknight
1000000000/00/00/0000
twenty

Gordon Hayward
322530391006/68/131/2000
23

kai jones
0000000000/00/00/0000
9

Theo Maledon
twenty-one010140000/00/30/1030
7

Bryce McGowens
22332100100/00/31/3010
10

Svi Mykhailiuk
361331232004/50/13/5050
4

Nick Richards
2610eleven0eleven10000/35/100/0020
3

Terry Rozier
0000000000/00/00/0000
8

Dennis Smith Jr.
291350591103/42/52/4030
twenty-one

J.T. Thor
181230311322/2232/5020
25

PJ Washington
292862432214/49/142/8010
5

mark williams
twenty-one1381721011/36/90/0000

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