Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter of Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at American Airlines Center on May 12, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images


  • Luka Doncic was quick to take accountability for what has been a dismal season
  • Kyrie Irving's arrival was supposed to boost the Mavericks' chances at a playoff seed
  • The Mavericks need some luck to even make it into the play-in tournament

The Dallas Mavericks now find themselves outside of the playoff picture as hopes were high at securing an outright seed following the acquisition of Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline.

With how his squad has performed, Luka Doncic is willing to take on the blame for their poor run of performances.

"I'm the leader of this team. The one to blame is me. It's [disappointing], obviously. Being in the conference finals last year to being barely, I mean, trying to get into the play-in, it's a very disappointing season, I think," Doncic was quoted to have said by sources.

Since acquiring Irving on February 6, the Mavericks have posted a record of 8-16 which featured losses to fellow Western Conference playoff hopefuls Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors.

Irving being paired with Doncic to lead their offense was a gamble that has paid off on that end as they are currently fourth in offensive rating (117.3), which simply means that they are the fourth-most efficient franchise when it comes to scoring the ball.

But when looking at their defense, that is where the Mavericks have faltered as of late as they are ranked 14th (112.3) – meaning that they allow about 112.3 points per 100 possessions.

"I don't think the offense is the problem. I've always said this. It's our defensive end. I think anybody can score on us. Whoever it is, anybody can score on us. I don't think the offense is really the concern. We're scoring a lot of points," Doncic mentioned about their defensive woes.

Dallas has simply not been clicking on all cylinders when it comes to stopping their opponents from scoring as guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, and Maxi Kleber plus Christian Wood and JaVale McGee have simply been off-kilter.

Teams have been scoring at will despite the defense the aforementioned names have provided and it is currently unclear how the Mavericks plan to address their deficiencies.

With not much left to lose, head coach Jason Kidd opted to experiment with the twin tower setup of McGee and Wood for most of the second half in their overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks and generated a plus-minus of 13 and 10 respectively.

The Mavericks' last three games will see them take on the second-seeded Sacramento Kings, the play-in-bound Chicago Bulls and the tanking San Antonio Spurs.

A miracle is needed in Dallas if they are to make at least the play-in since the competition for the seventh to 10th spots in the West are separated by just about two to 2.5 games, with the Mavericks being a game away from the Oklahoma City Thunder for 10th.

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks
#2 Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks. Calling Our Shot/Twitter