The Dallas Mavericks have enjoyed a quality second-half of the 2023-24 season. Dallas recently clinched a playoff spot, and now they are just looking to finish strong with two regular season games remaining. The Mavs will be without at least one of their stars on Friday against the Detroit Pistons, however, as Kyrie Irving has been ruled out with left hamstring soreness, per the NBA Injury Report.

Dereck Lively II, who will not play in another regular season game as he battles a right knee sprain, is also out while Luka Doncic is questionable with left ankle soreness.

The Mavs are hoping that Lively will recover in time for the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. The rookie center will have additional time for extra rest since Dallas managed to stay out of the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Mavs are obviously proceeding with caution with Irving and Doncic. Both played during the Mavs' 111-92 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday. However, Irving, who has played in 31 consecutive games, will miss Friday's affair.

Kyrie Irving's 2023-24 season

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks on against the Miami Heat during the third quarter at Kaseya Center.
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Irving has enjoyed a tremendous 2023-24 campaign. The 32-year-old battled early-season injuries but has stayed healthy for the most part over the past couple of months.

Overall, Irving has averaged 25.6 points per game on 49.7 percent field goal and 41.1 percent three-point shooting. Additionally, Kyrie is averaging 5.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per outing.

Irving will unfortunately fall just short of being eligible for NBA awards. The threshold is 65 games played and Irving has appeared in 58 contests. Still, there is no question that Irving has played a pivotal role amid the Mavs' success.

Luka Doncic has recorded MVP-caliber numbers, but Irving and Doncic have found a way to both perform at an elite level while playing alongside one another. Many superstars have failed to develop chemistry together but Luka and Kyrie have silenced their critics.

Mavs poised for deep playoff run

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first half against the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center.
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In fact, former NBA All-Star Paul Pierce believes this Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic-led Mavericks team can take care of business against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think they can beat the Clippers,” Pierce said on Undisputed, via ClutchPoints. “I think we're watching the best scoring duo in NBA history… They have all the ingredients of a team that can get to the Finals. You have a top-five player, an MVP candidate, and arguably the best player in the league. You have experience, Kyrie's championship experience. So, I do believe the Mavs have a shot. If I have to choose between them and the Clippers, I'm taking them right now.”

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is confident in his team as well. He was recently asked why the Mavs are a championship contender and gave an eye-opening response.

“Well I think the biggest thing is, they're a team,” Kidd said of the Mavs following Wednesday's win. “We talk about Luka (Doncic) and Kai (Kyrie Irving) a lot, but there's a lot of pieces to this puzzle that make this thing go. So, very similar to the '11 team. When you talk about Dirk (Nowitzki) and Jason Terry, they had a lot of older guys that didn't get the attention but knew their job and did their job at a high level. It was just all about winning. And I think when you talk to these guys it's all about winning.

“No one is into the stats. There will be some individual awards here for some of those guys that deserve it. But at the end of the day it's all about team and they care for one another.”

Again, and this cannot be said enough, but Irving and Doncic are absolute superstars. But Kidd is correct in his assessment, as both players care more about winning than individual statistics.

The Mavericks are ready to make a deep playoff run. Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic's injury statuses will be worth monitoring ahead of the playoffs, but both stars should be ready to go for the Clippers series barring any setbacks.