Dallas Mavericks, a team that have been at its best when led by a European, has “officially” come back at playing playoffs level basketball. The main reason for that is yet another European player, as Luka Doncic is balling out every night since the beginning of the season. This time, though, they can be even stronger that in the past, when they had Dirk Nowitzki leading them, because not only that they have one superstar-caliber European on their roster, but they have Kristaps Porzingis, too, a 2,21m accurate 3-point shooter and a ferocious presence under the rim, defensively. To all that, you add quite some solid shooters in Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway Jr, who, by the way, scored 31 PTS last night against the Rockets, on 45,5% 3P%, sinking in 5 threes, and you have the recipe to at least get on a playoff spot.
It was a statement win, as they played the Rockets in their home court, a team which wants to win the championship this year, so this is what makes it quite special for the young fellas. Maybe it was one of those nights where all their shots were going in, no matter what, because the Mavericks seem like they can’t miss from anywhere on the floor. Dallas scored a total of 17 3-pointers, with 7 more than Houston, and here is where the game was decided. Even though the Mavericks were in front by double-digits the whole contest, James Harden and Russell Westbrook tried to make a run at the start of the 4th quarter, cutting the deficit to just 6 points with six minutes left, alongside Clint Capela, who once again had a 20-20 game, being named the Houston Rockets Man of the Match at the end of it.
In the end, their effort wasn’t enough, mainly because of Doncic, who kept being aggressive with many of his offensive weapons… going to the basket on his right, finishing with his left, shooting off-the-dribble or using the screen to feed his bigs. He finished with 41 PTS, 6 REB and 10 AST on 51,6% FG%, showing his consistence on a nightly basis. What started as a joke at the start of this season, continues as something more and more serious, and if the kid continues to play at this level, he will be a contender in the MVP Ladder, for sure. As for the All-Star selection, is not even worth mentioning it anymore, as it’s already kind of clear that he will be in that type of contest. It should be an honor for him just to be mentioned in the MVP conversation, given the fact that he’s only 21 years old and a sophomore in the NBA. The best is yet to come for both him and the Dallas Mavericks franchise.