Extra Pass: Doncic, Mavs gear up for battle with Nets

Published March 16, 2022, 5:00 PMMiguel Flores

It’s going to be a Luka Doncic-Kevin Durant showdown as the Mavs visit the Nets, 7:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Smart’s GigaPlay app and Cignal TV.

Brooklyn's finest

Kyrie Irving just scored 60 points in 35 minutes today. He had 41 in the first half and maybe could have gone for 80, had the Brooklyn Nets not been leading by 30 points in the fourth quarter. This was a reminder of Irving's greatness – few players in history had his scoring ability.

It's also a reminder that Irving doesn't play often. In the Nets' previous game, Kevin Durant dropped 53 points. Where was Irving? He was in the audience, still unable to play because he refuses to get vaccinated.

This is going to be the story of the Nets’ season since Irving is only going to play in four of the Nets’ remaining 13 games. Durant’s going to need to keep carrying his team, if they want to close the gap on the sixth seed. They’re 3.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 36-33 record. 

That’s just what happens when your team relies on temperamental superstars. Sometimes, they’re injured. Sometimes, they believe in conspiracy theories. Most of the time, you’re going to need them to be excellent to win games since they make up 90 percent of your salary cap.

With no Irving and still no Ben Simmons, Durant is liable to mess around and grab 60 himself tomorrow.

Luka Magic

Speaking of singular superstars, the Dallas Mavericks will be rolling into Barclay’s tomorrow as one of the hottest teams in the league.

Dallas is on an East coast swing, fresh off crashing Kevin Garnett’s jersey retirement ceremony with a classic performance and a game-winner.

The Mavericks have been crushing it lately, winning eight of their last 10 games. They’re tied with the Utah Jazz for fourth in the West. We’re at the point in the season where teams definitely have their eyes on the postseason. Homecourt advantage in a 4-5 matchup would be huge for the Mavericks.


Luka, for one, has worked himself back to MVP form after starting the season out of shape. Over the last two weeks, Luka is averaging 31.5 points on 50 percent shooting with 10.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. He stepped up his effort, displaying more vigor on defense, which was the biggest knock on him.

The Mavericks have been trying to be shrewd with how they build around Luka. They aborted the Kristaps Porzingis experiment and, luckily, got a rejuvenated Spencer Dinwiddie in return. Jalen Brunson has looked like a perfect partner for Doncic, as well as Dorian Finney-Smith.

Most of the heavy lifting will still be on Luka’s shoulders. Tomorrow, he’ll mostly be dueling Kevin Durant.

Where to watch

Watch the game tomorrow on NBA TV Philippines at 7:30 AM via Smart’s GigaPlay app and Cignal TV. There’s also a critical game between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls tomorrow that comes on at 9:00 AM, also on NBA TV Philippines.