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“I don’t care”: Irving trade grade of ‘D’ back in the news… The Donovan duo laughed it off

“No matter what anyone says…”

The Dallas Mavericks won 117–116 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the second round of the 2023-2024 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday night.

The Donovan duo is on a roll. They swept top-seeded Oklahoma City in the second round to advance to the conference finals.

In Game 6, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving were the stars of the show. Doncic led the way with a 29-point triple-double, while 스포츠토토 Irving (22 points) hit a key tough shot in the fourth quarter.

The reaction to Dallas‘ surprise acquisition of Irving at the trade deadline last year was polarizing. It’s hard to deny Irving’s skill set. In terms of skill alone, the trade-offs for him were more than acceptable given his talent.

However, it was not without its concerns, especially when considering positional balance. Most of all, we were worried about Irving’s history of disrupting team chemistry and being a troublemaker. Many viewed him as a ticking time bomb that could explode at any moment. Furthermore, Irving was nearing the end of his contract, which could have ended in a half-year rental.

ESPN harshly criticized Dallas for the Irving trade, giving them a D grade. Brooklyn, on the other hand, received a B+ in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and a draft pick.

So far, the “D” grade for Irving appears to be off by a significant margin. At this point, it’s hard to characterize Dallas’ acquisition of Irving as a failure.

Despite missing the playoffs in his first season with the team, Irving is playing “happy basketball” in his re-signed season. This is the first time Irving’s team has reached the Conference Finals since the 2017-2018 season, when he was with Boston. Irving missed the playoffs then due to injury.

Irving and Doncic are the most intimidating backcourt duo in the playoffs right now. After Game 6, Irving and Doncic held a press conference together and both smiled when the subject of their trade grade of D came up. Irving joked, “I became the worst player in the All-Star game.”

“We don’t care (about that rating),” Doncic replied with a laugh. We love playing with each other and we love playing with this team. We don’t really care what other people say.”

In Dallas, Irving is far from a troublemaker. Even after the game, he shared a deep hug with Doncic, showing his camaraderie. The outbursts and locker room issues that everyone feared have not happened in Dallas.

“Kyrie Irving just helped me mature a lot, and he made me realize that I can look at the game in a different way,” Doncic said. It’s amazing to play with a guy like him on the court, he’s been a great leader, not only for me but for us,” Doncic said.

Irving, in turn, said, “Next to me, (Luka) Doncic pushed me to continue to build our game and continue to develop as a young leader. I came to Dallas and had to do a lot of things and they embraced me with open arms. Doncic is like a big teddy bear who loves to compete. You can’t sit still and admire his talent. I enjoy watching him become a father, and I enjoy watching him develop as a person. He’s a good person and a good young man,” he praised his partner.

On the sidelines for Game 6 was one of Dallas’ last championship-winning players, Doug Nowitzki. With the Donovan duo, Dallas is back in the championship hunt after 13 years. Will the Irving trade lead to a franchise-changing championship?

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