West Notes: Mavs, Kyrie Irving, Suns, Kevin Durant, Timberwolves


Point guard Kyrie Irving said it may take time for the Mavericks to build a true contender. Today, they’re 37-40 and in danger of missing the Western Conference playoffs altogether.

“We just can’t be a championship game overnight,” Irving told reporters. “I’ve wrapped my head around it. I’m at peace with it.”

Irving can be a free agent at the end of the season but made it sound as if he’s committed to Dallas.

“It’s been a scramble since I’ve been here,” he said, via Dalton Trigg of SI.com. “So, trying to fill in roles that kind of fill in for other people. And I think the realistic view is that when I came here, that this was going to be a growing process.”


Star forward Kevin Durant said he has just happy to get his home debut out of the way on Wednesday night, a win over the Timberwolves. Durant had played in just three games with Phoenix since a February trade with the Nets.

“It was hard for me to get sleep today, it was hard for me to stop thinking about the game,” Durant told reporters. “Sometimes you can want it too bad and you come out, start rushing and being uncharacteristic.”

“I’m glad I’m back, I’m glad I’m playing again and being one of the guys. Just building from here.”

  • The Suns are 4-0 with Durant. “I thought he battled on both ends,” coach Monty Williams said. “I think his cardio has got to get back to the level he wants it. Once he gets that, we’ll see the Kevin that we all know.”
  • Durant changed his shoes at halftime, hoping that it would give him an added boost for the third and fourth quarters.


Center Rudy Gobert suggested that the league is pulling for the better stories and bigger markets for the playoffs, and not the Timberwolves.

“It’s bulls–t. Bulls–t. It’s really not fair,” Gobert said of the officiating after Wednesday’s loss to the Suns, via Brad Botkin of CBS Sports. “Every night. I’ve been in this league for 10 years and I try to always give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard for me to think (the officials) are not trying to help (the Suns) win tonight. It’s hard for me to think they didn’t try to help the Warriors win the other night, or the Sacramento Kings the other night. 

“It’s just so obvious. As a basketball player that’s been in this league for so long, it’s disrespectful, and it sucks, to be honest. We work so hard to be in a position to compete with the best, and we just get manipulated into those situations where it just impacts the game for the other team too much. They know how to do it. They do it a lot of different ways. Tonight was another way of doing it.

“But it’s all good. We understand that it’s also a business. Unfortunately. It’s sad, but it’s good also. It’s really good. But it’s true. We understand that we’re not the biggest of the markets, and we’re a team that … I think you want to see (Kevin Durant) in the playoffs, (Stephen Curry) in the playoffs, you want to see (LeBron James) in the playoffs. The Timberwolves are not there yet. We got to keep putting our head down, keep playing through that, and it’s frustrating for sure, especially for me.”

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