Kyrie Irving is sitting out a must-win for the Mavericks’ playoff chances
Apr 7, 2023, 11:53 AM | Updated: 1:01 pm
Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber and Josh Green will sit out for rest or injury-related reasons for the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
Dallas is No. 11 in the Western Conference and a half-game out of the final play-in position with two games left.
Losing Friday to the Chicago Bulls, who are reportedly resting DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Patrick Beverley, would end the Mavericks’ season.
Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder can win their season finale Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies to end Dallas’ season anyway, but there is no other way to paint this picture: The Mavs are fine missing out on the play-in.
About that! The must-win to make the playoffs is also a must-lose to keep the team’s first-round pick.
Despite trading for Irving at the deadline to pair him with Luka Doncic, risking it all despite Irving’s contract ending after this season.
The Mavericks could end up being in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes but at present with Chicago is tied for 10th in the reverse standings.
Dallas owes the New York Knicks its 2023 first-round pick, but that pick is top-10 protected. So losing to Chicago would help the Mavs retain their first-round choice for next season.
Still, there is a pretty dang small chance Dallas gets leapfrogged in the NBA Draft lottery, which would drop them out of the protected range in that pick.
The decision to punt on the playoffs had social media buzzing:
Just so we’re clear.. Suns never had a rivalry with the lottery bound Dallas Mavericks.
— Khiz (@KhizBadshah) April 7, 2023
What y’all wearing to the Dallas Mavericks funeral tonight ?
— Mike (@MikeAdxx) April 7, 2023
@NBAPR investigate the dallas mavericks for blatant tanking.
— Phantom (@9Phantom6) April 7, 2023
The Dallas Mavericks are idiots!
— Bobby T (@radiobobbyt) April 7, 2023
Shai carried a cast of no names to the Play-In while Luka and Kyrie are looking at a top 10 pick
— dean (@deanisreal_) April 7, 2023