The Phoenix Suns are now in a different orbit. And it’s not just because they’re on a two-game winning run with the arrival of superstar Kevin Durant, which has propelled them to fourth place in the Western Conference with a 35-29 win-loss record.
Durant was impressive in both victories, scoring 23 points against Charlotte and 20 points against Chicago. We all know KD is capable of so much more. His contributions are much appreciated than a handful of baskets against a failing club not recognized for great defensive strategies.
The Suns are on a unique road right now because of Durant’s gravitas to the club. What occurred in Brooklyn will be used as a case study in What Went Wrong? for the rest of the time. His time in Phoenix will be scrutinized and over-analyzed, possibly even more so than the failed Brooklyn effort. For now, the Suns have yet to be tested on the court. This game against Dallas has the potential to alter that.
What’s the story with the Dallas Mavericks?
The Dallas Mavericks’ new era got off to a bumpy start. As predicted, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving’s backcourt have shown moments of greatness, but the highlights have yet to convert into victories.
The Mavericks are sixth in the West with a 33-31 record, but before a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, they had lost five of their previous six games. Like the Suns, many eyes will be on Irving to see if he can help Dallas get over the hump, which means finally making it to the Western Conference Finals after a pair of unsuccessful efforts during the Luka Doncic era.
The victory against Philadelphia provided a glimpse of heaven. Irving scored 40 points, the highest he’s ever scored in a game since joining the Mavericks. Doncic scored 42 points in the same game, making Dallas history as the first time two Mavericks scored at least 40 points in the same game. Is this, however, the proper formula? Is it necessary for Irving and Doncic to cook simultaneously for this to work? This game against Phoenix might explain.
Keep an eye out for the storyline.
Where do I even begin? Dallas and Phoenix have had a tepid rivalry since the Mavericks defeated the Suns in seven games in last year’s playoffs. Doncic and Devin Booker, two of the league’s top scorers, will always be entertaining to watch as they trade buckets and trash talk.
Add in Durant and Irving, two of the league’s most talked-about superstars, two previous champions, and two rivals vying for greatness. This showdown couldn’t have been better for both players, who are still attempting to find their feet in their new homes.
einsteineruploaded with. Who is the superior pick? Who will be the best match? Which will be more entertaining to watch: Doncic-Irving or Booker-Durant? Will these be the teams that Irving and Durant lead back to the Finals?
Dallas has a larger sample size in trying out their new look group, but Phoenix’s recent runs against two East clubs seemed like a walk in the park. Neither club would confess that this game is marked on their calendars (cue: “It’s just another game”), yet this clash has much more significance than a game in early March.
Note this game on your calendar and prepare for a high likelihood of rain and isolated pettiness.