Mavericks Notes: Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr.

The Mavericks are considered the underdogs entering the NBA Finals vs. the Celtics, but that’s just fine with coach Jason Kidd.Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA

“We like the underdog role, we have to,” Kidd said, via Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “Boston’s been there before. We’re just a group of guys, that some people say, that just got put together and will play on the playground. It’s cool to see this group come together for a short amount of time and believe, and we got a great group of young men.”

Meanwhile, star guard Luka Doncic thinks the Mavs’ so-called tough path to the Finals could serve them well.

“It means a lot man means a lot,” Doncic told reporters of advancing to the Finals one year after the Mavericks failed to make the playoffs. “It’s not easy. It was a very hard road, but we are here. Obviously, we’re not done. We have four more.”

  • A year ago, people were wondering if the Doncic and Kyrie Irving backcourt would work. “I think we’ve got a great team, but most importantly, we’ve got great guys and great guys in the team from players to coaches to everybody in the team,” Doncic said. “We have great guys and that’s the most important thing…. We stay together and we just play basketball.”
  • As for the Celtics, yes, they’re the favorites. Game 1 is Thursday at Boston. “I mean, they’re the best team in the NBA. They had by far the best record,” Doncic added. “They have some incredible weapons on offense and defense. So we’re going to have to play really hard and amazing basketball to beat them.”
  • Irving, of course, is facing his former team. (As is Kristaps Porzingis of the Celtics.) “I’m grateful because it wasn’t an easy road,” Irving said, via Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “I was able to grow as a person. When you’re in a professional environment such as this and you can only be judged by your on-court performances and what people say off the court and they don’t know who you are, I think that is a little unfair. But that is the life that we live in and life is not fair all the time.”
  • Wing Derrick Jones Jr. added that, despite the underdog role, the Mavericks are confident. “We believe that we can beat anybody,” he told reporters, via Joe Mistretta of Clutch Points. “Underdog, I don’t like that really. Everybody going to keep putting that narrative on us… I don’t really think anybody can beat us in a seven-game series.”

Related | Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, Porzingis, Van Gundy

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