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Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic have only been teammates for 16 days, but they are already becoming fast friends. The latter hit the former with the oldest trick in the book at the NBA All-Star Game and it couldn’t have worked any better.
Irving, who was traded on Feb. 6, joined Dallas after tumultuous tenure in Brooklyn. Off-court controversies aside, he remains one of the best ball-handlers in the league and the hope is that Mark Cuban’s Mavericks can make a real push for their second NBA title with him on the roster.
Although the team is 2-3 since Irving’s arrival, the duo of star guards sets it up for a deep playoff run. Assuming that they can get their chemistry figured out, that is, which doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Of the five games with Irving on the roster, he and Doncic have only played alongside each other once. Irving dropped 28 points with seven assists and seven rebounds while Doncic dropped 27 points with five assists and nine rebounds in a five-point overtime loss to the Kings.
Other than that one Saturday, they have not been on the court at the same time with Dallas. They did, however, end up together on Team LeBron in the All-Star game.
Irving went for 32 points in 29 minutes while Doncic went for just four in 19. The exhibition game obviously means nothing, but served as another opportunity for the new Mavericks backcourt to gel.
Gel Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic did!
While sitting on the bench together, Doncic got Irving with the classic cross-shoulder tap. Irving fell for it hook, line and sinker, which led to a good laugh between the two.
Before the game, Irving spoke about his relationship with Doncic. He said that they are already starting to figure each other out and that he looks forward to their families “breaking bread” during a home stretch after the break.
Irving’s approach to building chemistry with Doncic is very logical. It takes time, and he understands that they may not click overnight. An overtime loss to Sacramento, while not ideal, is not that big of a deal. There may be more losses to come as the two guards work out the kinks. That’s okay.
If/when the pieces come together, Doncic, Irving and the Mavericks will be a real force in the West! And based on the All-Star game shenanigans, it looks like they’re well on their way.