Kyrie Irving isn’t amused by their unexpected, slimming postseason chances as the Dallas Mavericks fell against the Philadelphia 76ers, 116-108, on Wednesday.
“Where we are in the season and where other teams are positioned already, it kind of looks like, you know, a bit of a cluster – right now, to be honest with you,” Irving said, via dallasnews.com. “We’re 37-40 and trying to fight to get in the play-in game, and it’s not the expectations I think any of us had.”
In hopes of elevating their contending case and presenting Luka Doncic as his urgent backup star to fill the Jalen Brunson void, the Mavs pulled their trigger in midseason to acquire Irving from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and future draft assets. But amid this move, directions turned opposite for the club.
Instead of positive results, negativities have swarmed Dallas since the trade. Despite averages of 26.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.2 boards by Irving, the Mavericks have gone 7-10 in the All-Star point guard’s 17 games of availability.
They have lost eight of their last 11 games, which includes humiliating back-to-back defeats against the Charlotte Hornets.
As a result of their struggle, the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-39) leads them by a game for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. With five games left, questions have been piling up on how they can still save their season.
As such, Irving is keeping his spirits high that the current tough stretch is just a test for them in building winning ways in the long run.
“The realistic view when I came here was this was going to be a growing process,” Irving said. “This was for the long-term and this was for something that was bigger than ourselves, and we can’t just be a championship team overnight, especially me coming here.
“I’ve wrapped my head around that aspect of it. I’m at peace with it. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on this season or any of my teammates are, but we know where we realistically are, and our destiny is in some other teams’ hands losing games.”
The Mavs will continue to keep fighting as they are set to face the Miami Heat on Saturday.