When the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving at the deadline, Luka Doncic thought they were going to be a top team in the West. After all, with two offensive monsters leading the way, the Mavs should be able to wreak havoc against any team that they face.
Fast forward to 23 games later since Irving's arrival, however, the Mavs have dropped to 11th in the conference from a Top 4 seed and are now in real danger of missing even the Play-In tournament.
The Mavs' latest loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday made things even more difficult for them. And they basically have to win their remaining four games in order to have a shot at the 10th seed and a Play-In berth.
In his postgame presser on Saturday, Doncic was asked about his expectations on the team for the season after the Irving trade compared to how it actually panned out. The Slovenian superstar didn't hold back his thoughts and expressed his disbelief about Dallas' disastrous run.
“Way different,” Doncic said in response, per Brad Townsend of Dallas Morning News. “I thought we were going to be up there. But we obviously aren’t, so it’s way different than I thought.”
Sure enough, Luka Doncic is not blaming the Kyrie Irving trade here. What he's saying, however, is the fact that Dallas has been unable to live up to the high expectations on them after forming a superstar duo.
As Doncic said as well, the offense was clearly strong with him and Kyrie leading the way. They are doing their job. Unfortunately, the team seems to be lacking in pieces on the defensive end, which was proven once again in the Heat game when they allowed Miami to score 44 points in the first quarter.
It remains to be seen if the Mavs can still salvage the season, but their time is running out. If they can't turn things around in their last four games, even Luka's playoff expectations might not really come to fruition.