4 Mavericks whose stocks are rising, 4 that are falling before Thunder series

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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4. Rising: Kyrie Irving

Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving played unbelievably well during their series against the LA Clippers that ended last week, and his ability to take his game to the next level during the second halves of games makes him one of the best closers that the NBA has ever seen.

Irving averaged 26.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 44.9 percent from downtown. Irving finished with 30 points in the Game 6 win with 28 of those points being in the second half, and the Clippers had no answer for him.

Irving outplayed Luka Doncic in this series, and his calm demeanor even during the biggest games and moments continues to pay huge dividends for the Mavs.

Another huge development that helped Irving tremendously was his excellence on the defensive end while guarding James Harden. Irving and Harden's quiet rivalry grew even more during this series, and Irving was guarding him tight and giving him no airspace.

Harden ended up having some big games in this series, but him disappearing in Game 6 was a huge reason that the Clippers couldn't get within striking distance during the second half.

The Mavs will need Irving's dominance to continue into the second round, and he and Doncic have a big challenge ahead of them in the Oklahoma City Thunder.