close
close
Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Mavs’ Kyrie Irving tells Luka Doncic: ‘I have to play better’

By meerna Jun12,2024

DALLAS – The blame for the Dallas Mavericks’ 2-0 loss in the NBA Finals begins with Kyrie Irving.

Irving made that clear when talking to teammate Luka Doncic after the Mavs’ Game 2 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

“It started with me just telling my friend Hermano I have to play better for him, alongside him,” Irving said, using the Spanish word for brother, after Tuesday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “For us to achieve our goal, we both have to play well and we both have to do the little things, do everything to win.

“Easy conversation. But it started with me reaching out and just letting him know it was my fault and taking responsibility for not playing particularly well.”

Irving averaged 14.0 points on 35.1% shooting from the floor – including 0-of-8 from three-point range – during the Mavs’ two losses in Boston. He reached the Finals averaging 22.8 points per game on 48.5% shooting in the playoffs, highlighted by three 30-plus point performances during Dallas’ Western Conference Finals victories against the top-ranked Minnesota Timberwolves defense.

“First of all, I just accepted the fact that I didn’t play well or at the level I wanted to,” said Irving, who has lost 12 straight games with the Celtics, the franchise he left in free agency in the 2019 offseason.

“After returning to Boston, I have a great desire to play well. I wanted to be there for my teammates. As a player, it’s frustrating. But I don’t want it to seep in or spill out into any other decisions I have to make there as a player.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Boston is prepared for Irving to be more aggressive in Game 3.

“It’s not about silencing him,” Mazzulla said. “It’s just about making it difficult for him because of his ability to influence the game, so we just have to fight for it. Improved appearance. I think we need to guard it better. I think he’ll definitely be more aggressive.”

Irving noted that he had already lost 2-0 in the final twice.

“I know what it takes,” Irving said.

His Cleveland Cavaliers came back to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games in 2016, as Irving averaged 30.0 points in three straight wins, ending the series with the winning shot in Game 7. The Warriors finished off the Cavaliers in five games in next year’s Final.

Irving said he felt the stakes were rising in the series against the Celtics, a 64-win team that has the best regular-season record in the NBA and has lost only twice in the postseason.

“We know what we’re getting into,” Irving said. “But now we have to take it to an even higher level and it starts with me.”

Mavs’ Kyrie Irving tells Luka Doncic: ‘I have to play better’

By meerna Jun12,2024

DALLAS – The blame for the Dallas Mavericks’ 2-0 loss in the NBA Finals begins with Kyrie Irving.

Irving made that clear during a conversation with teammate Luka Doncic after the Mavs’ Game 2 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

“It started with me just telling my friend Hermano I have to play better for him, alongside him,” Irving said, using the Spanish word for brother, after Tuesday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “For us to achieve our goal, we both have to play well and we both have to do the little things, do everything to win.

“Easy conversation. But it started with me reaching out and just letting him know it was my fault and taking responsibility for not playing particularly well.”

Irving averaged 14.0 points on 35.1% shooting from the floor – including 0-of-8 from three-point range – during the Mavs’ two losses in Boston. He reached the Finals averaging 22.8 points per game on 48.5% shooting in the playoffs, highlighted by three 30-plus point performances during Dallas’ Western Conference Finals victories against the top-ranked Minnesota Timberwolves defense.

“First of all, I just accepted the fact that I didn’t play well or at the level I wanted to,” said Irving, who has lost 12 straight games with the Celtics, the franchise he left in free agency in the 2019 offseason.

“After returning to Boston, I have a great desire to play well. I wanted to be there for my teammates. As a player, it’s frustrating. But I don’t want it to seep in or spill out into any other decisions I have to make there as a player.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Boston is prepared for Irving to be more aggressive in Game 3.

“It’s not about silencing him,” Mazzulla said. “It’s just about making it difficult for him because of his ability to influence the game, so we just have to fight for it. Improved appearance. I think we need to guard it better. I think he’ll definitely be more aggressive.”

Irving noted that he had already lost 2-0 in the final twice.

“I know what it takes,” Irving said.

His Cleveland Cavaliers came back to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games in 2016, as Irving averaged 30.0 points in three straight wins, ending the series with the winning shot in Game 7. The Warriors finished off the Cavaliers in five games in next year’s Final.

Irving said he felt the stakes were rising in the series against the Celtics, a 64-win team that has the best regular-season record in the NBA and has lost only twice in the postseason.

“We know what we’re getting into,” Irving said. “But now we have to take it to an even higher level and it starts with me.”

By meerna

Related Post