Luka Doncic didn’t think it would go like this.
Not even close.
The Mavericks superstar has spoken out recently about his disappointment in Dallas’ late-season slide, which continued after the team’s 129-122 loss to the Heat on Saturday.
They’ve won just one of their last seven games and enter Sunday evening’s matchup with the Hawks while sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Thunder for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
Dallas is also a lowly 7-11 with Kyrie Irving since the team acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Nets.
Coincidentally “7-11” was the nickname for the Durant & Irving duo in Brooklyn, which will now be remembered dubiously.
The Mavericks, who also brought in Markieff Morris along with Irving, sent Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks to Brooklyn in the deal they believed would elevate them into playoff contenders.
Instead, they’ve sunk into crisis.
“I thought we were going to be up there,” Doncic said after Saturday’s loss. “But we obviously aren’t, so it’s way different than I thought.”
The Mavericks fell to 37-41 on the season and continued their porous defense in the loss, which has become a staple of their late-season collapse.
Doncic, who isn’t exactly a lockdown defender himself, is seemingly fed up with the recurring issue.
“It’s every time the same problem,” Doncic said. “The offense is fine. But if we give up 130 points in four quarters, that’s hard to win.”
Doncic is hardly the only member of the Mavericks to be blunt about the team’s predicament.
Following Dallas’ 116-108 loss to the 76ers on Wednesday, Irving — who also got into a spat with a fan during the game — unloaded when asked about the team’s struggles.
“What does our future look like? I think that now, again, just where we are in the season, and where other teams are positioned already, it kind of looks like a bit of a clusterf–k, to be honest with you,” Irving said.
“… It’s not the expectations I don’t think any of us had in that locker room and me getting traded midseason.”
Head coach Jason Kidd previously called out his team’s effort as “dogs–t” after a loss to the Hornets on March 24, a game in which his side was booed heavily.
By: Ny Post