Mavericks Notes: Irving, Doncic, Lively

Kyrie Irving had a pair of rough outings during the first two games of the Finals  in Boston. With the series shifting back to the Celtics’ home court for Game 5 on Monday, the Mavericks guard says he must block out all “self-doubt” with the Mavericks trying to stay alive, The Athletic’s Joe Vardon writes.

Irving shot 13-for-37 from the field in Games 1 and 2.

“Let’s call it what it is, when the fans are chanting ‘Kyrie sucks’ or anything, they feel like they have a psychological edge — and that’s fair,” he said. “If I’m not making shots or turning the ball over, that makes it even more of a pressing issue that they can stay on me for. So I think in order to silence even the self doubt, let alone the crowd doubt, but the self-doubt when you make or miss shots, that’s just as important.”

Irving will switch up his mental approach in Game 5, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“Be prepared for what I’m getting myself into,” Irving said. “Most importantly, not making this about me or getting into the energy with anyone else other than my teammates. That’s about it.”

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Head coach Jason Kidd was a top assistant with the Lakers before getting the top job with the Mavericks. Kidd says Luka Doncic and LeBron James have a very comparable mental approach. “They’re very similar,” Kidd told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “They’re very similar, IQ-wise. Both just off the charts. Luka doesn’t have athleticism like LeBron has. But they do a lot of things similar and they both really know the game.”
  • The Mavericks are trying to make history by erasing a 3-0 deficit and Doncic says it’s all about faith in themselves. “I think the most important thing is to show that we believe,” he said, per MacMahon. “I think we showed in Game 4. If not, if we wouldn’t believe, we probably wouldn’t have won that game. So I think obviously the talk is easy to talk about it, but then showing it is another thing. I think we showed it.”
  • Rookie big man Dereck Lively is still amazed how far he’s come in one year, according to Schuyler Dixon of The Associated Press. ”I wouldn’t have expected myself to be in this spot whenever I looked at the draft a year ago,” he said. ”The draft is a week away. Last year, a week away from the draft, my heart was pumping because I didn’t know what was going to happen. And now I’m playing in the NBA Finals.’
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