NBA 2022/23, on Tuesday, 02/14/2023
The Mavs bought themselves a great toy, but one that is neither safe nor has a money-back guarantee. If Kyrie Irving were a sports bettor, we certainly wouldn’t feature him on our site.
But on the floor, the NBA’s Bad Boy has definitely been worth the money since his move to Texas, so I definitely won’t be betting against him or Luka Doncic in my Mavericks Timberwolves prediction tonight.
The thing about Kyrie Irving is that when he’s not promoting anti-Semitic videos on the internet or making claims that the earth is flat, he’s one of the ten best NBA players I’ve ever seen play.
The Mavericks, the new owners of the NBA’s enfant terrible, just acquired him from the Nets for a song – Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three future draft picks, to be exact.
A real gift in terms of athletic value alone. However, the Texans have to keep the superstar happy, as this is a ticking time bomb.
After all, the Nets only agreed to the transfer because Irving was once again making a racket and wanted to leave at all costs.
But as I said, when Kyrie Irving is focused on basketball, there’s no stopping him. And like a fresh love affair, AI has started his new adventure hopeful and happy – and how!
Because the Mavericks “had” a big problem: everything always depended on Luka Doncic and when the Slovenian was also injured, then almost nothing worked.
Not for nothing did the Texans have a season record of 0-7 during the first seven games in which Doncic was not on the floor. This was topped off by the fact that in those games they were notable for the league’s worst net rating, field-goal percentage and three-point percentage.
In short, the board desperately needed a player of calibre to turn the Mavs into a true title challenger.
Doncic went down 3 times during the past week, but instead of the Mavs losing out like they usually do, they won all three games – 2 of them with newcomer Kyrie Irving, who really livened up the offensive game.
Without Doncic at all, the Mavs averaged 118.7 points per game over the course of those three games, which is undoubtedly due to KI, who has recently been shaping the game and setting the decisive accents.
The eight-time All-Star dished out 10 assists in just his second game for his new club, underlining just how well he is already meshing with the rest of the squad to boost offensive production.
At the weekend, it came to the long-awaited debut: Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic were together in the starting five against the Kings and caused excitement in the stands in front of the spectators at the Golden 1 Center with 28 and 27 points each.
I deliberately mention the upcoming opponent, the Timberwolves, only at this point in my forecast – and not by chance.
Minnesota is playing a mediocre season with a record of 30-29 and doesn’t have the quality to defeat a team as loaded as the Mavs, especially now when there is a real sense of optimism in Dallas.
The Timberwolves have far too many holes in their defence to withstand the concentrated offensive power that the Mavs are currently capable of unleashing, especially now that Luka Doncic has returned since the weekend.
Consequently, as the Bwin app reveals in a matter of moments, bettors are trading a Texans win at odds of around 1.33, whereas those for the visitors from Minnesota have been pegged at a disproportionately higher 3.40.
By the way, with the NBA playoffs just around the corner, I took a fun look at the total win odds currently being offered by the likes of Betano for an “upgraded” Mavs triumph – the answer: 17.0.
Certainly a good offer in terms of the ratio between payout and probability of occurrence, even if I would henceforth put a Suns triumph above all else.
After all, at the latest after Kevin Durant’s monster trade, Phoenix has recently been treated as one of the absolute top favourites, and quite rightly so.
Conclusion: At the beginning of a relationship, the mood is always glorious and as long as Kyrie Irving is happy, he can make any team – especially one like the Mavs, who desperately needed him – a class better.
Already on his own, the ex-Nets player made sure that the Mavs started to work magic without Doncic on the floor at all – and how: 118.7 points per game have not been bad.
But now that Doncic is also involved, Dallas should play the thoroughly mediocre Timberwolves to the wall in Harlem Globetrotter style. Especially since Mavs fans will be going all out for the duo’s home debut!
My Mavericks Timberwolves tip: Dallas wins by HC -7.5.