Despite a heroic 46-point performance from Luka Doncic, who received Larry Bird AND Magic Johnson comparisons from Jeff Van Gundy, it wasn’t nearly enough to advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. The Los Angeles Clippers edged the Mavs in a critical Game 7 for advancement in the playoff bracket and bragging rights towards the new rivalry, 126-111.
Before Game 6, I warned Mavs fans to not let LA win that game in Dallas, or else it will not end well for them. Sure enough, that bold claim unfortunately came true.
The stars for the Clippers also came to play. Kawhi Leonard was a machine yet again, scoring 28 points (10/15, 67% FG), with 10 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals. Paul George added another 22, with 10 assists and 3 steals. But the bench was the reason the Clippers came out on top today. Terance Mann was on a rampage in the first half, scoring all 13 of his points as soon as he entered the game. Luke Kennard played a huge role, adding 11 points in just 15 minutes off the bench as well. Kennard’s buckets in the second half were the spark the Clippers needed, and he was the one who busted the lead wide open in the third quarter.
On to the Mavs, where do I begin…
Luka Needs Help
Losing by 15 when your star player scores 46, says a lot about the team.
Outside of Tim Hardaway Jr and Dorian Finney-Smith occasionally stepping up and hitting a shot, nobody else even dares to step up offensively. Boban can only do so much, Maxi Kleber is scared to touch the ball, Josh Richardson just turns the ball over whenever he touches it, and Kristaps Porzingis is completely useless.
When the lights shine the brightest, this team curls up in a ball and relies on Luka to do everything. It shows the lack of experience that this team needs to address. There are too many misfit toys on this team, with no real structure. Where are the veterans? What is a KP? Why even sign JJ Redick?
Rick Carlisle has coached the Mavericks for 13 seasons, and has failed to advance in the playoffs 11 times. When do we start questioning the coach? I don’t think Mark Cuban would ever pull the trigger on canning Jim Carrey’s doppelganger. In part, because there isn’t much better out there, but maybe it’s time to start analyzing this a bit deeper.
Changes to Come?
I’m not here to disregard the Mavs’ effort and resiliency they displayed throughout this grueling series with the Clippers. They improved by a game from last year, and the goal is to keep getting better, and they will. This roster needs to improve drastically. If we keep seeing this same result every year that we’ve seen the past 10 years, Luka will be gone in the blink of an eye.
While there are many things to be happy and excited about, this is going to be a tough offseason for the Dallas Mavericks. After all, they did kinda blow a 3-2 lead. They are going to have to be more honest with themselves on how the future of this team will become more successful. I’m expecting big changes to the roster, and maybe the coaching staff this offseason. Oh, and I hope KP planned a nice, long vacation for himself, because he’s going to have a rough time off.
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MAVS GET SENT HOME MAVS GET SENT HOME