Kyrie Irving says Mavericks’ playoff situation is ‘a little bit of a cluster—-‘ after loss to Sixers
The Dallas Mavericks‘ poor run of form continued on Wednesday night with a 116-108 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Losers of five of their last six and 14 of their last 20, the Mavs are now 37-40 on the season, and stuck in 11th place in the Western Conference after having mortgaged a good chunk of their future for Kyrie Irving less than two months ago.
With just five games left, the Mavericks are in real danger of following up their Western Conference finals appearance with a trip to the lottery.
“It’s kind of a little bit of a cluster— right now,” Irving said.
With seven minutes to play against the Sixers, the Mavs held a three point lead, and had a real chance to secure one of their biggest wins of the season. What followed was a total collapse. They shot 2 of 9 from the field and had nearly as many turnovers (four) as points (five) the rest of the way, as the Sixers closed the game on a 16-5 run.
The disastrous stretch was summed up best by Luka Doncic working his way into the lane in the final minute to try and give the Mavs some hope, only for Joel Embiid to deliver a fierce rejection.
At the end of Tuesday’s slate of games, the Mavericks find themselves one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for 10th place and the final play-in spot in the West, and 1.5 games behind both the No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers and No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans. They have lost the tiebreaker to the Thunder, are currently losing the tiebreaker to the Pelicans (still to be determined based on final division record) but have won the tiebreaker against the Lakers.
Down the stretch they play at Miami and at Atlanta, then head back to Dallas to close out the season with a three-game homestand against Sacramento, Chicago and San Antonio. All of those should be winnable games, but there’s no guarantees with this team right now; just last week they lost to lowly Charlotte Hornets twice in the span of three days.
But as much of a “cluster—” as things may be right now, the Mavs still have a lot riding on these remaining games.
“We still have chances,” Doncic said. “So we shouldn’t give up yet.”