The Kyrie-Luka duo of the Dallas Mavericks is starting to wreak havoc, thanks to the adjustments done by the team and the two superstars. But one question remains: are they the most lethal combination the NBA has ever seen?
Defense wins championships, or so they say.
The Mavericks’ offensive rating increased to 125.9 for the duo’s first two games. Meanwhile, their defensive rating suffered some setbacks, going from 118 to 121, the worst for this season.
Irving has been productive since joining Dallas, averaging 27 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Doncic, on the other hand, produces an average of 33.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 8.1 assists every game.
Their offense has no problem. In their recent outing against the Philadelphia 76ers, the duo made history by scoring a total of 82 points in a single game. Kyrie Irving scored 40 points and six assists, while Luka Doncoc had 42 and 12.
Although they only won two matches in their last six games together, their performance in the 76ers match proves that the Kyrie-Luka duo is starting to get in sync.
Not everyone is impressed with their team-up
Former NBA player and now analyst Charles Barkley had no faith in the combination of Kyrie and Luca.
“They do not bring diversity to the table. They don’t play defense, and they don’t rebound the ball.”
“They’re both great one-on-one basketball players, and that’s the problem.”
As an NBA analyst, Zach Lowe believed the duo could not win a championship or even reach the finals. This is because Dallas exchanged their defense for offensive power.
“Can you win a title like that? Can you win three or four playoff series like that? I’m skeptical that they have enough defense to do that, but they’re not fun to play against, I’m telling you that much,” he said.
The analyst added, “But look, when they have those two guys on the floor together, they are gonna score a ton of points.”
When they lost against the Indiana Pacers last February 28, Skip Bayless criticized the duo and was certain that the partnership of the two was “failing.”
“On a final play clearly called for Kyrie, down 2, he took AND MISSED the 3 to win, guarded by Indy’s McConnell. Luka just watched.” Bayless wrote on his Twitter. “He cannot love the new 4th [quarter] pecking order. Before tonight, in his games [with] Kyrie, Luka had taken 10 4th q shots to Kyrie’s 33. THIS ISN’T WORKING.”
On a final play clearly called for Kyrie, down 2, he took AND MISSED the 3 to win, guarded by Indy's McConnell. Luka just watched. He cannot love the new 4th q pecking order. Before tonight, in his games w Kyrie, Luka had taken 10 4th q shots to Kyrie's 33. THIS ISN'T WORKING.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 1, 2023
Kyrie-Luka Duo, the Best this Season?
Combining two guards is one of the most unusual events this 2023 NBA season. We had seen the tandem of LeBron James and Kyrie when they won a championship together back in Cleveland.
There is also the combo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, winning three consecutive rings. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had six rings with the Chicago Bulls.
The Kyrie-Luka duo is still in the early stages of their pairing. There is no certainty that they will reach the same success as the other tandems in the NBA, especially with Irving still determining whether he will remain as a Mavericks or not by the end of the season.
But if he decides to stay, and has the management add defensive pieces, their duo may be the deadliest pairing for years to come.
Nevertheless, Mavericks is an exciting team to watch at OKBET, especially with Kyrie and Luka basically walking highlights.