Resting players isn't a revolutionary concept in the NBA. Teams who are out of playoff contention tend to sit their starts towards the latter portion of a regular season. However, the NBA seemingly batted an eye when the Dallas Mavericks decided to rest some of its key players, including Kyrie Irving in Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls. Although the Mavs let Luka Doncic suit up for that contest, the Dallas superstar only saw action for one quarter.
The NBA's decision to put the Mavs under the microscope for a possible tank job has caused a division on Twitter.
“Hahaha wait- so the 76ers openly sucked for 5+ years and the media lauded it as ‘The Process,'” Mavs fan @Colson_Ging said. “We accepted our season was done and shut our guys down FOR A GAME, and the NBA is investigating us because the fragile Knicks wanted our pick?”
Meanwhile, @KURTspeeds thinks the NBA is just right in attempting to get to the bottom of the Mavs resting Luka Doncic and company, “For the folks confused about tanking, teams that are a game or two from making the playoffs don't normally tank. You have two superstars with an EASY opportunity to make the playoffs and you purposely rest your superstars? That’s bad for the NBA brand.”
A win against the Bulls would have kept the Mavs' alive for a Play-in Tournament spot. While that sounded like good enough of a reason for the Mavs to have all hands on deck and go all out, that simply did not seem to be the case based on their player availabilities. The Mavs ended up losing the game, 115-112, thus getting officially eliminated from Play-in contention.
Some more reactions here to the NBA investigating the Mavs:
Better start investigating like five more teams this year, and every other season for the past 20 https://t.co/uusdwj7LI0
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) April 8, 2023
Why y'all complaining on here it was a pathetic thing to do, you still have to chance to make the play in and obviously chose to rest guys, it's embarassing for the Mavs
— THE Brandon Johnson (@Bjohnsy15) April 8, 2023
Honestly good, it was a disgrace.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) April 8, 2023
If there were no video of @mcuban smiling, the NBA wouldn’t be investigating.
— Brando Simeo Starkey (@BrandoStarkey) April 8, 2023
It must be noted that the Mavs now have the right to at worst, a No. 10 pick, in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft after that loss to the Bulls. If their pick landed outside of the top 10, that would go to the hands of the New York Knicks. In other words, the Mavs have a shot at winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, albeit still being a long shot to land that No. 1 pick in the lottery.