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The Dallas Mavericks Could Not Be In Direr Straits, The Kyrie Effect

It's gotten so bad for the Dallas Mavericks that they look to be in grave danger of missing the playoffs, and Kyrie Irving has officially checked out from the Internet/social media realm that he just loves to light up. That's where we're at right now in Mavs Nation.

Not sure if Steve Cheah checked the Over/Under on Cody Zeller today — shoutout to Trust The Data, Cheah is a fucking machine — but you can sure as shit be assured Zeller's line wasn't anywhere NEAR 20 points. That's how many he hung on the Mavs. Twenty. Cody Zeller. In the year 2023. Dude played in a grand total of 39 games in the last two seasons entering tonight and torched Dallas.

Kevin Love had 18 off the bench. He's been atrocious since landing in Miami! I will say, Jimmy Buckets had a fine outing for the Heat with 35 points, 12 assists, and an excellent quote that I can only hope isn't an April 1st special:

"Black Man and Robin". You gotta love Jimmy Butler.

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Back to the Mavs, whose social team at least isn't above putting Luka Doncic on a losing final score graphic. While it's great that Luka, Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. put up nutso numbers on offense tonight, they do realize defense is part of basketball, too, do they not?

According to SportsCenter facts, Kyrie and Luka have the worst record of any superstar tandem since the ABA-NBA merger who both made the All-Star Game that season (minimum 10 games). They're 4-10 when they've played together. Dallas has lost six of seven overall, with that one win coming against the Lakers by one point on a Maxi Kleber buzzer beater.

As the NCAA Tournament begins to wind down with the Final Four, all the hoops talk will shift to the playoff race in the NBA and how close and fun it is. I used to be against the play-in tourney, because I figured 82 games were plenty to decide who should be seeded Nos. 1 through 8. However, I've come around, and especially with how tight things are in the West, it sets up all kinds of drama.

…The big disappointment of it all is that the Mavs are currently one full game outside the play-in bubble. Yup, that's right. They're in ELEVENTH PLACE in the Western Conference. As you can see. Almost unfathomable. 

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Once Kyrie came aboard, I figured Dallas could run pretty much anyone out of the gym on offense alone. Sure maybe there'd be growing pains, but come on. Kyrie and Luka!? Turns out, they can't hang with anyone lately amid a series of must-win scenarios. By all accounts, Kyrie actually hasn't been a locker room cancer, even though he's saying things publicly like it's a "clusterfuck" out there on the court. 

Not wrong, just maybe not the type of message you want to present to the media. Then again we all know Kyrie couldn't give less of a shit about that, optics be damned.

I'm really in no mood to watch the try-hard Oklahoma City Thunder get demolished off the court against any of the foes they go up against. Just keep soft tanking, OKC, and roar up the standings next season once Chet Holmgren makes his NBA debut. Relax, #ThunderUp folks. I gave you plenty of love earlier this week.

Not even being a Mavs fan, it's nevertheless so frustrating and mind-boggling to watch Dallas self-sabotage to this degree. I'm not even happy about Kyrie's latest squad sucking. Well, not really. Just give me Luka doing Luka things in the playoffs. And a decent supporting cast.

Or not.

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Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok