Mavericks Notes: Irving, Doncic, Washington, Celtics’ Talent

Kyrie Irving has pulled a disappearing act in the first two games of the Finals, Stefan Bondy of the New York Post writes.

The Mavericks guard has scored a total of 28 points on 13-for-37 shooting in the series after pouring in 30-plus points six times earlier in the postseason, Bondy notes.

“A lot of shots were hitting the back rim. That could piss you off as a competitor, but it’s all part of the game of basketball,” Irving said, adding, “A little disappointed in myself not being able to convert a lot more on my opportunities that I have in the lane. Obviously, I’m going against Jrue Holiday and Jaylen Brown a few times, but I feel like I have the upper edge on certain possessions where I’ve just got to convert. They are pushing me to my left hand a little bit more. I have to be aware of some of their adjustments, like I was in Game 1. … Offensively, I have to play better.”

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Despite posting a triple-double in Game 2, Luka Doncic put the blame on himself for the 105-98 loss, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Doncic committed eight turnovers and missed half of his eight free throws. “I think my turnovers and my missed free throws cost us the game,” Doncic said. Coach Jason Kidd disagreed with his superstar’s assessment. “He was really good (Sunday). Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get over the hump,” Kidd said. “I thought our defense was really, really good. We’ve just got to take care of the ball.”
  • While the West is generally considered the toughest of the two conferences, P.J. Washington says the Celtics are superior to any of the teams they’ve faced in the playoffs. “They’re just better,” he said, per Tim Cato of The Athletic. “At the end of the day, they are better than all the teams we’ve played. It’s the Finals, and we’ve just got to be better.”
  • Following along that theme, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes that of the seven best players in the series, all but two are playing for the Celtics. He concludes the only way Dallas can rally to win the series is if the Celtics beat themselves.
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