The Bounce: Kyrie ignites Deadline week

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Good morning! With a big cause leading a big week, let’s give it to Shams.

The latest from Shams

Sunday, The Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks in a four-player deal that also brought an unprotected first-round pick to Brooklyn. Dallas also sent Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie into the deal.

Your Mavericks believe their culture and environment are a perfect fit for Irving. Among other teams that had attempted to acquire him:

Learn about these situations and more in my report on how the Mavs won this contest. And stay tuned as we near Thursday’s close.

Kyrie joins Luka

Three Kyrie takeaways for now

While the Mavericks were certainly on the short list of teams interested in acting for Irving, they shocked the world by actually doing so. Three questions immediately come to mind:

  • Is Kyrie a good match for Luka? We’ve seen Irving play with ball-dominant, heliocentric options before – think LeBron James in Cleveland and Kevin Durant, to a lesser extent, in Brooklyn. Kyrie plays pretty well off the ball, but that doesn’t necessarily give him the rhythm he needs to work offensively. Dallas is betting that offense is so superior that having no defense will work — and the Mavs finished 24th in that category this season Before Trade good defender Finney-Smith for offensive Irving.
  • Is Brooklyn better off now? The networks can remain competitive and still have plenty of trading flexibility as long as Durant is healthy, of course. Brooklyn improves immediately with the addition of a valuable 3-and-D wing (Finney-Smith) and a solid on-ball creator (Dinwiddie). Granted, they lost a talent, but they also lost a huge headache.

More trade reactions from Kyrie:

Steph injured again

He will miss several weeks

Steph Curry injured his leg again in a Saturday win against Dallas. The team announced that he suffered “partial tears to his superior tibiofibular ligaments and interosseous membrane and a contusion to his lower leg.”

I’m not a doctor, but that sounds pretty painful.

Shams reported that Curry is expected to miss “several weeks”. Golden State has survived this season without him at times — then again, they’re barely surviving if they were Finals MVP last year does play. The Warriors are just 20-18 with Curry and 7-8 when he’s out, though Golden State’s net rating this season has fluctuated around a team-high 11.4 points per 100 possessions depending on whether Curry is playing actively.

They are currently eighth in the West and just half a game away from sixth. They are also one game away from missing the play-in tournament all together. The defending champion is in trouble.

beef dish

Austin Rivers vs Mo Bamba

Over the weekend we witnessed perhaps the funniest fight in NBA history. It happened between Rivers of the Wolves and Bamba of the Magic, although only Rivers was in play when the argument started.

Let’s go through the key details, shall we?

  • After Orlando was 10 minutes up by 1:32 in the third quarter, Rivers missed a shot near the Magic bench, and according to a teammate, Bamba said, “This isn’t high school, no.” Eventually, Rivers returned to the area before a melee fight ensued.
  • Five players were ejected. Bamba was suspended for four games, Rivers got three games, and Jalen Suggs got one game.
  • However, that is not the end. After the game, Bamba posted a “beep around and find out” Memes on Instagram – every modern beef court case needs some solid meme usage.
  • Rivers said he took him on a one-on-five with no backup, that we only know Bamba’s name from an old rap song (NSFW), and that Orlando is Rivers’ town. Can we get Disney’s thoughts on the latter?

Judgment of the meat court: We are on the side of Bamba in this case. However, only just. This decision seems reasonable to me mainly because I’ve never heard of anyone from Winter Park, Florida claiming that visitors need a permit to visit Orlando.

And also Austin? You can’t brag about your teammates not supporting you in a fight (even though they kind of did).

That’s weak

Joe Dumars, what are you doing?

Speaking of suspensions, I was shocked at the punishment Dillon Brooks received for punching Donovan Mitchell in the testicles. He got a game for his transgression. That’s it. A game. It’s absurd that Brooks didn’t get a tougher suspension. And that’s not the kind of “man on the internet worried about the sanctity of getting hit in the testicles” kind of complaint.

How hard? Brooks clearly wanted to punch Mitchell in the balls. Yes, to a degree I suppose, but we all know what a low blow looks like. Please believe me, I’m not trying to be an indoor monitor or one of those people who report golf violations from their couch at home.

But look at the results of the other fights we’ve had this season: Killian Hayes got three games for beating Mo Wagner. Bamba and Rivers got seven combined games for their fight.

NBA manager Joe Dumars imposed the suspension. Don’t tell me this is some kind of homage to the Bad Boys, Joe!

Tangent: I searched YouTube for a Dumars fight and found Celtics announcer Johnny Most making fun of the Pistons during a broadcast, calling Bill Laimbeer “Counterfeit Bill” and referring to the Pistons’ backcourt as “The Lovelies.”

bounce passes

Screen Game (All Times Eastern)

  • Main screen: Bucks Blazers (10 p.m., NBA TV). Giannis and Dame are on fire. Both have been in the top 3 since the New Year, with checkers leading the league with 34.9 points per game over that span.
  • Second screen: Cavs Wizards (7 p.m.). Washington has won six of eight and must defeat Cleveland, who leads the NBA with 23 double-digit wins this season.
  • League Pass Game of the Night: Thunder Warrior (10pm). Even without the curry, basketball nerds should really enjoy it. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged over 34 points in his last seven games. There will be buckets.
  • Check the full schedule here.

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(Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images) The Bounce: Kyrie ignites Deadline week

Russell Falcon

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