The Clippers are favorites to win the NBA Championship this season. The Clippers are overwhelming favorites to advance out of the first round in their match-up against the Dallas Mavericks. A team that have not lost to in the 2019-20 season. The Clippers started the game so impressively it brought back memories of the Clamp City nickname that never quite stuck. The Clippers looked impressive; unbeatable really as they jumped to an early 16 point lead.
Then, the Mavericks, after taking the punch to the mouth, decided to punch back.
An NBA game, we have all heard, is a game of runs. That was never more evident than it was in this game. In fact, there were so many lopsided runs in this game that the game seemed to lack any flow. It was just a very weird game. The Clippers looked like the better team to start, but after that it was all Mavericks. Even when the Clippers made their runs, the Mavericks just looked like the more composed team.
Then, things got crazy when Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris Sr locked arms. It was nothing, really. There was a stoppage in play that MMS seemed to be unaware of, so he continued to defend Luka. Luka took exception and pulled away from Morris. Words were exchanged and it was then that Kristaps Porzingis, I assume, took exception to something Morrs said or the way he said it. Porzingis, who was carrying a technical foul on a very flimsy call from earlier, shoved Morris and an NBA brouhaha ensued.
There is normally some pushing, some yelling, likely some choice words and then each team is dispatched to their corner. If things get bad, referees hand out the oftentimes ridiculous double-technical to the most egregious offenders. This did not seem to raise to that level. If was more haha, than brou. It was brouhaha-lite, at best.
Yet, double technicals were called and that meant an early shower for Prozingis.
This is the Prozingis that averaged 20ppg in the season and over 30ppg in the Bubble. It was an early exit for a Mavericks star. In a game the Clippers simply couldn’t get a handle on, they were given a huge advantage that they would use to energize the team and crush the Mavericks. Well, nope. Not really. Not even close. The Mavericks, to their credit played well without Prozingis.
Most of that credit has to go to Luka Doncic. Doncic scored 42 pts and added 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. He was…amazing! In fact, in the entire history of the NBA no player has ever scored more points in their NBA playoff debut than Doncic. Let that sink in. That is an impressive stat, but it’s even more impressive when you realize he did his damage against a team with elite defenders in Patrick Beverly, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
Yes, the Clippers won the game but they did not impress the Mavericks. In fact, Mavericks fans have got to be feeling good about being as close as they were without one of their stars for half the game. The Clippers are a favorite to win it all this season, but if they continue to play like they did tonight they are more likely to be holding up fishing poles on TNT than they are to be holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy.