Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The Dallas Mavericks are down, but it would be foolish to count them out against the Golden State Warriors.
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks may have fumbled away a golden opportunity in Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. But this is not a foreign place for the Mavs. Not at all.
Through two games in the conference semifinals against the Phoenix Suns, the Mavs, too, were down 2-0 and had lost both games by a combined 27 points. Dallas looked overmatched and overwhelmed on the same floor as the Suns.
Then, Luka and the Mavs would go on to win four of the next five games against the top-seeded Suns. I’m not saying the same thing is going to happen against the Warriors, but it would be foolish to completely count out the Mavs after just the first two games of this series.
In Game 2 against the Warriors specifically, it’s a shame that Luka’s 42-point night wasn’t enough. However, the supporting cast simply wasn’t enough for Dallas to overcome Golden State’s second-half onslaught.
Something that should be somewhat remedied when the team returns to Dallas – generally, a supporting cast will play its best when at home. That’s the hope as the series shifts back to Texas. But also not a guarantee against the Warriors.
Through two games, the Warriors have looked like the better team. I’m not sure anyone would argue with that statement. However, that was also the case for the Mavs against the Suns in the last round.
Question is, will a beat-up Luka still have enough in the tank to continue to carry the Mavs during Games 3 and 4? It’s a tall task and I’m sure Luka is up for it, but there’s a very real chance that the clock could be striking midnight on the season for the Mavs.
They’ll need a huge Game 3 performance from not just Luka, but also the rest of the team’s supporting cast. And even then, that won’t guarantee anything for the Mavs in this series.