Luka Doncic joined the Dallas Mavericks via a draft-night trade back in 2018. And in each of the last two seasons, Doncic has helped lead the Mavericks to the postseason.
That’s the good news.
On the flip side of the narrative, Luka Doncic and the Mavs have been eliminated in the first round both times. In last year’s playoffs, the Mavs fell to the LA Clippers in six games. This was no small feat considering that Doncic was hampered with an ankle injury.
In this year’ playoffs, the Mavericks squared off against the Clippers again. Doncic and the Mavs appeared to be heading toward a series win. After all, they jumped out to a 2-0 lead afer taking the first two games on the road. And they had the Clippers on the ropes after taking Game 5.
Unfortunately, you don’t win a best-of-seven playoff series in five games. The Clippers won Games 6 and 7 to advance to the conference semifinals.
As one would expect, Luka Doncic was disappointed with the final result. Here are some of his postgame comments.
“I mean, nothing yet,” Doncic said when asked what he proved during the series. “We made the playoffs twice since I’ve been here. We lost both times. In the end, you get paid to win. We didn’t do it.”
Luka Doncic has performed very well in the postseason
It is understandable why Doncic isn’t satisfied with how the series ended. However, his statement isn’t entirely true. In last year’s six-game set against the Clippers, he compiled averages of 31 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per contest. Doncic also shot 50 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the 3-point range.
This time around, Doncic was just as spectacular. He put together per-game averages of 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists per outing. And he was just as efficient, as he converted 49 percent of his overall attempts and knocked down 40.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Furthemore, in the series finale, Luka Doncic put up 46 points to go along with 14 asssists. And he scored or assistsed on 77 of the Mavericks’ 111 points. Simply put, he did everything he could to put his team in position to win the game.
Sure, Doncic is on the wrong side of a playoff series for the second straight year. And it’s important that he’s not satisfied with just making it to the postseason.
But what Doncic did prove is he is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent. The kind of talent opposing defenses have to plan for even in a postseason series. Let’s also not forget he’s just 22 years of age.
What these playoffs series have proven is that Donic will need a viable supporting cast if the Mavs have hopes of taking the next step toward becoming a legitimate title contender.