When the Dallas Mavericks traded for perennial All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, many felt they had just become dark horse contenders in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Instead, they have struggled to win even half of their games since then.
Their latest setback came on Wednesday to another struggling team, the Golden State Warriors, who they lost to 127-125.
That loss included a strange play at one point where the Mavs claimed the referees indicated that they were to inbound the ball from the far end of the court, only to give it to the Warriors, who immediately scored on an uncontested dunk by Kevon Looney.
As a result, owner Mark Cuban is filing an official protest, and NBA insider Shams Charania explained the details of that protest.
The Mavericks are filing a game protest to the NBA that, sources say, centers around a referee in Wednesday’s 127-125 loss to the Warriors allegedly causing confusion and failing to properly rectify it by alerting players and coaches. Full details on @TheRally: pic.twitter.com/w96mcp4kGk
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 23, 2023
As recently as Feb. 10, the Mavs were five games over .500 and in fourth place in the Western Conference, and it looked like they had a real shot at reaching the Western Conference Finals for the second straight season.
Their backcourt of Irving and Luka Doncic may be the most talented in the league, at least on paper, and both men are two of the game’s deadliest players come crunch time.
But both stars have missed stretches of action, and the team in general has had major issues on the defensive end.
Dallas is just 23rd in defensive rating, and although it is a potent offensive team, it still ranks second-to-last in pace.
As of now, the team is in ninth-place in the West and has the same record (36-37) as the Los Angeles Lakers, who currently hold the 10th spot.
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