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Playoff Luka Arrives Early; Could Rudy Gobert Be Dallas' Missing Piece?

Why isn't Luka Doncic getting legitimate MVP consideration by the national media? Will the Dallas Mavericks make a big play for Rudy Gobert this offseason?

Luka Doncic is already an incredible basketball player, but he takes it to a completely different level when the playoffs come around, as evident by his all-time leading 33.5 points per game in the postseason. Doncic appears to have already flipped that switch early with the Dallas Mavericks (49-30) just three regular season games away from finding out who their first-round opponent will be.

Over his last 28 games, Doncic is averaging 32.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. Dallas is 33-12 since New Year's Eve and looking to secure home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

Given how great Doncic has been overall this season, is the national media putting too much stock in to his slow start? Shouldn't he be higher in all of these various NBA MVP rankings due to his leading head-to-head record against the top candidates, paired with the Mavs currently having a better overall record than those top candidates' teams?

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On this episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast, host Dalton Trigg is joined by DallasBasketball.com colleague Grant Afseth to break down Doncic's MVP case, his stellar performance in a thrilling Mavs' 118-112 win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, and a playoff preview discussing the two most likely opponents for Dallas in the first round – the Denver Nuggets or the Utah Jazz.

From there, the guys wrap things up by touching on the latest NBA rumors involving the Mavs potentially having trade interest in Jazz big man Rudy Gobert this offseason if Utah decides to blow things up. How well would Gobert fit in Dallas alongside Doncic? Given his large salary, can the Mavs make the Jazz an offer worth accepting without giving up too many other important pieces? Could Gobert's preference have an impact? All of this and more is covered on today's episode.

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