Don’t count out the Dallas Mavericks
In his first playoff game, against the mighty LA Clippers, Luka Doncic finished with 42 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Absolutely ridiculous, video-game-type numbers for the second-year player. Albeit, he did have 11 turnovers. Nevertheless, he made quite the splash in his playoff debut for the Dallas Mavericks.
Game 1 didn’t come without its controversy, however, Kristaps Porzingis was ejected in the third quarter after earning his second technical foul of the game. Many suggest it was too harsh of a call and robbed fans of the finish we deserved down the stretch – the Clippers pulled away after Kristaps’ ejection en route to a 118-110 win.
Despite that, the Mavs should feel encouraged by their Game 1 performance. You have to give credit to the supporting cast, specifically Tim Hardaway Jr. (who finished with 18 points) and Seth Curry (who finished with 14 points).
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Even with Kristaps moving forward, the Mavs are going to need its support cast to continue to make strong contributions if they’re going to be competitive in this series.
The Clippers are the Clippers. Plain and simple. They are going to force you into turning the ball over. As a team, they had 12 steals in Game 1. What makes this team even deadlier is that they don’t turn it over much themselves. They only committed 11 compared to Dallas’s 21.
Does Dallas win Game 1 if Kristaps isn’t ejected? Who knows. However, heading into Game 2, they’re going to need him to play a big role. While Doncic has it in him, I’m not sure you want to rely on him scoring 42 points every night; it’s unfair.
As we saw in Game 1, the Mavs have the firepower to make this series competitive. They’re going to need a strong bounce-back game. It starts with Doncic picking up where he left off and Kristaps coming into Game 2 on a mission.
If the Mavs can cut down their turnovers and continue to get strong contributions from their supporting cast, perhaps this series will be a long one.
The LA Clippers are certainly the better team on paper and will likely end up winning, but if there’s anything we learned from Game 1 heading into Game 2 is that we can’t count out the Dallas Mavericks.