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The Aquilian

Dallas Mavericks now serious contenders for NBA finals

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Kyle Irving CC-BY-2.0 Photograph by Erik Drost

Due to Kyrie Irving being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas Mavericks are serious contenders to win the NBA finals. The Dallas Mavericks are sitting at fourth place in the Western Conference, and they will likely make the playoffs. The Mavericks have a young star in Luka Dončić, who is currently averaging 33.4 points 8.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. 

Dončić’s stat line is tremendous, but the reason he is able to put up stats at this magnitude is because of the number of minutes he plays per game. Before this trade, the Mavericks’ championship odds were 40-1, but now they are sitting at 17-1. Luka Dončić is on average playing 36.5 minutes of a 48-minute game. With the new addition of Kyrie Irving, pressure is not so heavy on  Dončić’s shoulders. 

Last season, the Mavericks had Jalen Brunson, who was a reliable second option, but he was unfortunately traded to the Knicks. The Mavericks now have a second option in Kyrie Irving, who they can confidently go to whenever Luka is tired, hurt, or guarded heavily. Dončić is putting up one of the highest usage rates in league history this year, according to SBNATION, so this will also drop, causing Luka to stay healthy. 

Luka Dončić, shooting guard, gets a surrounding piece with Kyrie Irving. Photo by Erik Drost CC-BY-2.0

Many people are talking about how Dončić and Irving are not going to work because they are both scoring guards who like to have the ball whenever they can; however, this is not true. If Irving stays out of trouble with the media, Dončić and Irving will work out perfectly. In close games, Dončić is being double-teamed because the opposing team knows that no one else is trustworthy enough to make the big play. Irving can now step up and take the shot if Dončić is being double-teamed. Teams that created a strategy around Dončić are now going to have to make up a strategy to defend this duo.

The Irving trade has made the Dallas Mavericks a serious NBA finals contender. Irving can make shots and take the pressure off of Dončić,  allowing him to get rest in certain games. If Kyrie is able to stay away from the media and focus on basketball, the Mavericks should be looking good come playoff time.

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