The past several months have been disappointing for the Dallas Mavericks.
First, they lost emerging star guard Jalen Brunson, who had a breakout campaign last season, in free agency to the New York Knicks last summer.
Brunson especially started to attract lots of attention as a difference-maker during last spring’s NBA playoffs when he averaged 21.6 points a game while helping the Mavs unexpectedly reach the Western Conference Finals.
Then came the Kyrie Irving trade, which some thought was going to make them contenders.
Instead, they have played even worse with Irving than they did before landing him, and as a result, they have fallen to 11th place in the West.
The Knicks have clinched a playoff spot.
The Mavs are currently the 11 seed. pic.twitter.com/J7hERnT3yQ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 3, 2023
To be fair to Dallas, if Brunson didn’t want to remain there, there wasn’t much the team could’ve done about that.
His father Rick, a former NBA player, is an assistant coach with the Knicks, and he is originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, which is no more than an hour away from midtown Manhattan.
The younger Brunson has gone from an upstart stud to a bone fide star this season in the big city, putting up 24.0 points and 6.2 assists per game while shooting a career-high 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the playoff-bound Knicks.
He has helped make New York one of the league’s feel-good stories this season, and Madison Square Garden is sure to be jacked once the postseason commences there.
Meanwhile, the Mavs are one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final play-in tournament spot in the West, and even if they make it to the play-in tourney, their defensive woes could spell a quick defeat for them.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Names 1 Player As The Problem With Mavericks