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The Honeymoon Phase Is Over In Dallas As The Mavs New Star Duo Keeps Losing Games

Rocky Widner. Getty Images.

When the Mavs traded for Kyrie Irving, they were essentially going for it. Given his contract situation, it was an immediate win now trade with hopes that if it worked out well then Kyrie would stay. Fans had been begging Mark Cuban to bring Luka some help, so he caved to the temptation of Kyrie's talent and brought him in

How are things going?

Giphy Images.

Now, this doesn't exactly tell the whole story, because there have been some Kyrie Mavs games that Luka did not play in. Since Kyrie arrived, the Mavs are 3-5 in games he's played in, and that clutch record drops to 2-5 in Kyrie games. Basically, they lost the only clutch game Kyrie played in and Luka didn't.

Now 4-6 over their last 10, the Mavs find themselves currently in the Play In. It's true they're only 1.5 games from the 4 seed (PHX) and they do own the 23rd hardest schedule the rest of the way so I wouldn't say it's time to smash the panic button, but the early returns can't be what Mavs fans thought was coming their way when this trade happened. Fans of teams that have lived through the Kyrie Experience probably knew, but every fanbase has to learn this lesson on their own it seems.

After a quick 2-0 start to the Kyrie era, the Mavs are in the middle of a 1-5 stretch with the only win coming against the Spurs. Losses to the Nuggets, Kings, and Wolves all have pretty important seeding implications and as a team the Mavs are now 12-19 on the road. For a team that might not have homecourt, that's an issue.

We're also seeing the early growing pains of their end of game offense in a big spot. 

I'll remind you, Luka had 39 points on 14-25 (3-9) shooting before this play. Kyrie? Only 16 points on 7-17 (0-3) before that shot. But this is what you sign up for when you bring in Kyrie. He wants to be the guy, regardless of how a game is going. We've seen it time and time again

Of course, part of this is on Jason Kidd. Hey moron, what kind of play is this? You don't have LUKA DONCIC involved at all? How many game winners does JKidd need to see Luka makes before he realizes that maybe his best player should touch the ball? That was brutal. I've seen Luka make that step back three a thousand times, it's basically his signature shot. But nope, let's have him stand in the corner and watch Kyrie dribble and miss. That's the late game offense you love to see! (said no one ever).

What will be interesting moving forward is how much of the heat starts to be put on Luka for where the Mavs sit. Before it was all his players stunk and he needed help. That was weird because ya know, Jalen Brunson is really fucking good. The same narrative existed this season, so Cuban got him elite help. The results are no different, so what gives? I'm sure now it'll be the coach, but at some point the superstar has to start taking heat right? That's how it works with everyone else in the NBA that's of his stature in the league.

The good news is there are still plenty of games left for the Mavs to figure this out. New additions can be a learning curve for teams. The Clippers are 0-3 with Russ for example, shit can take some time. But with each additional late clutch time loss and a defense that isn't really defending, that's not exactly how you want to be heading into the gauntlet that will be the Western Conference playoffs.