On the Lookout: Luka Magic to be tested by Irving and the Nets

Published May 6, 2021, 4:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Luka Doncic and the Mavericks need all the wins they can get to secure a guaranteed playoffs spot but the Nets, despite their losing streak, are going to be a tough test for them.

Imagine how fun it is to watch two sorcerers cast spells on each other on the court. Both of equal strength, both with their specific flavor of buttery-smooth dribbling expertise and lethal shooting. 

That’s the vibe you’ll get when Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving meet. 

Doncic, who’s fourth in the league in scoring with 28.5 points per game, has found a way to harness his magical powers in this crucial last stand for the Dallas Mavericks, a team holding on to a safe slot in the playoffs.

Led by their young magician, Dallas has won seven of their last 10 games, despite mostly missing the services of their resident unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis.

Standings-wise, Dallas has climbed all the way up to fifth, but under them are a hungry, angry bunch of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers waiting on their magic to fade. 

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving, who’s eighth in the league in scoring averaging 27.0 points per game, has been running the show and putting on a similar magical display for the Brooklyn Nets. 

The Nets are 5-5 in their last 10 games, and have become a team that has learned to develop a new trick: shapeshifting.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Brooklyn has been forced to transform into different versions all season, depending on the situation at hand.

Now the situation is this: they’re on a three-game losing streak without their second (or is it third?) magician on the roster, James Harden.

The Nets are obviously the team stacked with more talent, now that Kevin Durant—a near 7-foot version of Kyrie with the same sorcery—has been catching up on his magic.

Doncic is not without help, as his teammate Dorian Finney-Smith is slowly getting a whiff of Luka Magic, shooting 56% and averaging 12.4 points in his last 10 games.

Despite the challenges, Dallas and Brooklyn have found a unique space for them to showcase what the modern NBA looks like, and win a bunch of games while they’re at it.

The Nets are currently second in the Eastern Conference, calibration still in full effect. The question is, which iteration of a scary Nets team would show up against the Mavericks? 

For the Mavericks, while Luka Magic is a constant force, the question is which teammate would help him in battle?

These questions (and more) will be answered when the Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks meet at 7:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Cignal TV or NBA.smart.