After winning Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks now find themselves down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors.
“Well, somebody’s got to do it. And if it gets to 3-1, it’s not 3-0 any more. And 3-1 has been done.”
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said this early in the 2022 NBA Playoffs when his Raptors team faced a 3-0 deficit to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first-round.
While Nurse and the Raptors may be out of the playoffs, this mindset still lives on in the Western Conference Finals, as the Dallas Mavericks now trail the Golden State Warriors 3-1 after picking up a Game 4 victory on their home floor.
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks definitely face an uphill battle if they are to keep their hopes of reaching the NBA Finals alive, but Doncic is staying optimistic and is a firm believer that this series is not over quite yet.
No team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. 146 teams have tried and 146 teams have failed.
Could Team #147 in the Dallas Mavericks find different luck?
“I mean, I still believe we can win, you know,” Doncic said following Game 4 on Tuesday night. “Swept or not swept, in the end, if you lose, you lose. Don’t matter how many we win. We have to go game by game. We’re going to believe until the end.”
Going down in series and facing pressure in the playoffs is not new to the Mavericks, as they were tied 2-2 with the Utah Jazz in their first-round series and even trailed the Phoenix Suns 2-0 in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Being down 3-0 is a much different story, but the Mavericks played well in Game 4, shooting 20-43 (46.5%) from three-point range and they outrebounded the Warriors for the first-time in this series.
Putting up 30 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in Game 4, Luka Doncic has continued to make a grand impact for the Dallas Mavericks and with contributions coming from everyone around him, the Mavericks have some confidence going into Game 5 on the road Thursday.
“Everybody in that locker room feels like we have more basketball to play,” Mavs forward Dorian Finney-Smith said. “We just wanted to get the win by any means necessary.”
The Golden State Warriors are a championship-level team, but they have had flaws of their own in past postseasons. In 2016, they became the first team in NBA history to lose in the NBA Finals after leading 3-1 and now, they find themselves up 3-1 on the Dallas Mavericks.
Given their struggles at times offensively and turning the ball over, the Warriors can be vulnerable, which could play right into the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, a top-tier defensive team in this league.
Should they be able to win Game 5 against the Warriors, this series will suddenly be 3-2 in favor of Golden State with Game 6 to be played in Dallas, a prime opportunity for the Mavs to potentially even up this series and force a deceive Game 7.
Whether or not this Game 4 victory was just a “last-ditch effort” by the Mavericks will be revealed when Game 5 is played in San Francisco on Thursday night.
Brett Siegel joined FastBreak on Fan Nation in April 2022 after previously covering the NBA for NBA Analysis Network and working with Louisville Basketball, aiding in daily operations, scouting and recruiting. From playing to coaching to covering the game as a credentialed NBA media member, Brett has been involved with the game of basketball from many different perspectives. Breaking the news of Andre Drummond signing with the Lakers in 2021, as well as other key stories around the league, Brett is always on the phone, getting the latest news and rumors around the NBA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.