Can the Dallas mavericks save themselves? The keys to his post-irving crisis
For years a very concrete speech was made about luka doncic, which said that the only thing the slovene needed was another star at his side. With the mere presence of this star all problems would vanish. The more talent in the team the less dependence of former real Madrid. They almost seemed like the steps to follow ina recipe. So when the Dallas mavericks got kyrie irving, they didn’t hesitate for a moment. End the problem, they thought. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With and without luka. With and without kyrie. Together and apart. The problems of the avms are still there and it does not seem that they will be able to find a solution in less than a month before the regular phase ends.
The only thing that can comfort (not calm) the fans of the team is that the tight situation that exists in the western conference can happen anything. With 27 days until the end of this campaign and the start of the postseason there is only a difference of 2.5 games between the fifth and the twelfth. A bad week can bring a playoff team down to near the draft lottery spots. A blessing and, at the same time, a condemnation.
Dallas is in a difficult and uncomfortable position. To fulfill the prophecy that bringing a star to doncic would put the mavs on the map, the franchise had to let go of their precious role-players. Something that, to a certain extent, broke the balance prevailing in the squad led by Jason kidd but whose reward seemed worth it.
Since they made this move the balance of the mavs is 6 wins by 8 losses, of which both have played simultaneously in 9 of them (3-6 mark) and this has been the performance of luka and kyrie to date:
A close reading of these Numbers indicates that yes, in fact, irving has put a solution to those sections in which doncic was not present (around 11 per night) in exchange for being worse in which he plays without kyrie (around 10 per game).
The answer lies in Jason kidd’s own rotation. The mavs coach has recovered frank ntilikina for the occasion with the idea of helping the group defensively, but the results have not been very positive. In the two main alignments without irving but with doncic in which the Frenchman was, the result was -0.9 of net rating and -57.1. On the other hand, a Justin holiday who has fulfilled his fame as an inconsistent player, leaving on his team with the slovenian + 6.3, -46,2 and -57,1.
The loss of spencer dinwiddie and dorian finney-smith, the two players who spent the most minutes in Dallas after doncic, has affected the team’s thrust and, above all, its consistency. In exchange, the texans have won a punch from a kyrie who averaged 27.5 points and 6.6 assists with an accuracy of 41.4% in triples and 58.1% of two.
However, there is another issue that goes beyond the consequences of a sports decision taken from the offices. Which still has no clear answer consumed 82% of the team’s regular season. What’s Jason kidd’s problem with Christian wood?
Both together and separately the Numbers in the interior with the slovenian star have been positive, perhaps questionable ona defensive level, but not so much if you consider that the mavs are 23rd in efficiency. And yet, since irving’s acquisition, wood has been the 7th most player without causing a single night’s absence. The player who came to solve many of the problems that had that position in Dallas has seen his time reduced to less than 20 minutes. A situation that has been inexplicable since the season began. So much so, that even in the last engagement of the mavs where his two stars were missing, wood stayed in 15 minutes of play.
Asked about this, kidd dispatched the issue by referring to the large number of interiors available to them and the difficulty involved in making the distribution fair.
“If you look at the depth we have, we’re trying to get them out and play and see who’s got the hot hand, and right now, with maxi (kleber) back, that’s going to cut some of their [wood’s] minutes, especially when we’re healthy. And then, that’s how it is now, and it can change as we go along, “kidd said.
Beyond this, the reality for the mavericks does not invite optimism. With 14 games to go, they must figure out how to work with what they have. All this at a time when luka doncic is far from feeling well physically, as she is suffering a muscular injury that will keep her out indefinitely. Although on paper they have one of the most affordable calendars in the league, their reality is quite different. Only the 2 commitments against spurs and the other 2 against the hornets will offer a chance to face an opponent who has nothing at stake. This is because five teams will be play-in teams and the other five will be play-in teams in the playoffs.
Some mavs that have been neither brilliant in defense nor constant in general lines face the decisive straight of their season with the challenge of understanding each other and getting out of the play-in hole as soon as possible to avoid failure.
The problems that existed before kyrie irving’s handover are still there if they have not been magnified. And perhaps it is too late for the patch of a star to suffice.