With a new head coach in Jason Kidd and a lot of questions about their roster entering the year, I am not sure anybody expected the Dallas Mavericks to reach the Western Conference Finals.
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure many outside of Dallas and the Mavericks’ locker room actually thought they were good enough to win a playoff series!
Well, the Mavericks did just that, sending the Utah Jazz packing in six games and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first-time since 2011. Then in the semifinals, that is when dreams become reality for the Mavericks.
It took seven games for a team to win a road game in the Western Conference Semifinals series between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, but it was the Mavericks who shocked the NBA world, defeating the 64-win Suns by 30-plus points in front of their sold out home faithful.
Luka Doncic’s rise to being one of the greatest players in the league at just 23-years-old has been remarkable and the story of the 2021-22 Mavericks has been fairytale-like at times. Unfortunately for them, the clock seems like it is about to strike midnight, as Dallas is running out of time quickly against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
In a battle of “David versus Goliath,” the Mavericks, aka David, really have not lived up to the story of taking down the Warriors, aka Golitah.
Following Game 3 of this series on Sunday night, the Mavericks now find themselves trailing the Warriors 0-3 in this series and on the verge of seeing their season come to an end. Luka Doncic has been spectacular, but the talent gap between these two teams has really stuck out.
Golden State just has more overall talent and more experience late in the postseason than Dallas does, hence why they have dominated this series in every aspect so far. The Warriors are outrebounding them, outscoring them in the paint and breaking down Dallas’ defense, leaving the Mavericks with really no answers to turn to in such a short period of time.
Nothing they are trying to do is working against the Warriors, which is why they now face elimination from the playoffs.
Teams that have taken a 3-0 lead in any playoff series are 146-0 all-time in NBA Playoff history, which is very unsettling for the Dallas Mavericks and their fanbase.
Golden State has been on the losing side of NBA history before, as they led the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals and wound up losing the series, becoming the first team ever to lose in the NBA Finals after leading 3-1, but Luka Doncic is no LeBron James and the Mavericks do not have the size to be able to affect the Warriors in the paint.
Not to mention, nobody in the playoffs has been able to stop the Warriors’ dominant trio.
Wait, you think I’m talking about Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green? Those guys are great, but I’m talking about the other trio, the one that has done all the dirty work to allow Curry, Thompson and Green to be so successful.
Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole have been spectacular in the playoffs for Golden State and each of them have played their roles to perfection against the Mavericks in this series.
Being the primary defender on Luka Doncic and stepping up as arguably their most valuable scorer on the wing, Wiggins has really proven why he was a former No. 1 overall pick and why he was named a first-time All-Star this season.
Given that the Mavericks have no length underneath, Kevon Looney has dominated the glass in this series, averaging 9.7 rebounds per game and creating a ton of second-chance scoring opportunities for one of the best scoring teams in the league. Not to mention, he had 21 points (career-high) and 12 rebounds in Game 2, arguably the best game of Looney’s career in a Warriors' uniform.
As for Jordan Poole, he has very quickly emerged as the third “Splash Brother” for Golden State and is well on his way to earning a max-level contract. A young guard that had one foot out the door while in the G-League last year, Poole has really turned his career around and is now considered one of the best young talents in the entire league!
There is just no competing with the Warriors right now from the Mavericks standpoint, as Golden State has them beat in every single category.
From 2015-2019, the Golden State Warriors were the most dominant team in the NBA, making five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning three titles. The last two seasons though, injuries have derailed their season before it even had a chance to get going, which is a main reason why they have been absent in the postseason.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and others are all healthy and all of a sudden, this dynasty does not look like it is going anywhere, as the Warriors are now just one game away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the sixth-time in the last eight seasons.
Can the Dallas Mavericks make this series competitive?
They absolutely can and we saw exactly what the Mavericks were capable of against the Phoenix Suns in these playoffs.
However, the Warriors are not the Suns and they are the only team left in the playoffs that has multiple players with championship experience. Maybe they will avoid being swept by Golden State, but as of right now, it is hard to imagine that the Mavericks have anything left to give mentally against the Warriors, especially given that beating the Phoenix Suns was their “NBA Finals” this year.
Related stories on NBA basketball
- Complete 2022 NBA Playoffs Schedule, Results, Gametimes, TV, Point Spreads: Fastbreak on FanNation updates the results and schedule for every 2022 NBA Playoff game. CLICK HERE.
- 3 Things We Learned From Warriors-Mavericks Western Conference Finals Game 3 On Sunday: The Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday to take a 3-0 series lead. CLICK HERE.