NBA: Mavericks could sit Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving in final week
The Dallas Mavericks have a flicker of hope of competing in the play-in tournament but could choose to shut down stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving anyway, per a FanDuel TV report Monday.
The Mavericks (37-42) are in 11th place in the Western Conference, a game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, and only finishers in seventh through 10th place qualify for the play-in round.
However, with just three games left in the season and with the Thunder holding the tiebreaker between the two, the Mavericks might see value in not pushing for the play-in spot.
The Mavericks owe the Knicks a first-round draft pick from the Kristaps Porzingis trade in January of 2019, but it’s protected if it turns out to be a top-10 pick. Teams that don’t make the playoffs will each be in the top 10 of the draft order.
Dallas is off until Wednesday when the playoff-bound Sacramento Kings visit. The Mavericks finish the regular season with two more home games — the Chicago Bulls on Friday and San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
The Mavericks acquired Irving in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 6, and he was supposed to team with Doncic to push the team in the playoff race. They were 29-26 that day, meaning they are just 8-16 since — 7-12 with Irving in the lineup.