The Dallas Mavericks have had Kyrie Irving on their roster for 11 games, enough time for us to see how exactly he’s fitting in with incumbent superstar Luka Doncic. It’s obvious Irving has made the Mavericks’ offense better, and no wonder, as he’s an elite scorer.
But how exactly are the two superstars fitting together? Our guy Joe Hulbert has broken down the details of how Doncic and Irving are creating a dominant scoring machine:
Hulbert first dives into the obvious growing pains from the early games, as Doncic and Irving often resorted to awkward iso’s instead of trying to run the Mavericks’ actual offense. That’s to be expected with a mid-season trade that brings two ball-dominant players together. Of course, Doncic and Irving will definitely be going iso often, because they’re two of the most efficient scorers in the league going at opponents one-on-one. But hopefully they’ll find a way to blend those iso’s with something that gets all five players involved.
Hulbert then goes on to discuss Irving’s off-ball movement, something the Mavericks have sorely lacked in the Doncic era. Irving draws attention in a way no other Dallas player does. His ability to hit tough shots while on the move unlocks so much for Doncic and the Mavericks.
One of the more interesting topics discussed is just how terrifying it is for defenses with Doncic and Irving share the same vicinity on the court. When the two set screens for each other, defenders have to make so many quick decisions, and execute perfectly, or the two offensive geniuses will quickly break down what might have been the perfect scheme to stop them.
Doncic and Irving haven’t even begun to coalesce into the type of duo that operates with easy rhythm, like the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They’ve shared the court so few times so far. But with more reps, they could become one of the most frightening back courts in NBA history.