Mavs Prove Capable Of Round 1 Upset Of Clippers
By all rights, the Dallas Mavericks should be up 2-0 in this opening series against the Los Angeles Clippers. As it stands now, however, they sit tied at one game apiece after Wednesday night's 127-114 game two victory.
And they feel pretty good about it.
A postgame question to Luka Doncic: Is this a series you can win? The Slovenian Sensation's answer?
"Oh yeah, for sure,'' he said. "Any series, we're going to believe we can win for sure. If you don't believe it, you're not supposed to be here.''
Coming into this series, none of the 'experts' gave the Mavs a chance, and honestly, they had no reason to. The Clippers had easily swept Dallas in the regular season, winning the games by an average of 11 points.
However, a switch seems to have flipped for the Mavs in this postseason. Shots are falling, the defense is tighter, and they are getting contributions from all over the roster.
Dallas is supposed to be here.
Doncic, despite foul trouble, finished the game with 28 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists and set an NBA record for the fastest player to reach 70 points in their first two playoff games.
Kristaps Porzingis - ejected from Game 1 and here playing on a sore knee that had him truly worried earlier in the day - had 23 points on 7-of 13 shooting.
Those were expected.
But It's not just the stars who have put Dallas in control of this series. From 17 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. to Trey Burke's 16 points, Boban Marjanovic's 13 points and nine rebounds, to 15 points from Seth Curry, not to mention some valuable energy and defense from the likes of Maxi Kleber, Delon Wright, and Dorian Finney-Smith, the Mavs hit on all cylinders at just the right time.
However, there is something that should excite Mavs fans more than how well their team has played to this point, and that is how much better they are capable of playing.
In the last two games, Dallas has made a myriad of simple, yet frustrating mistakes, including easily avoidable turnovers, missed free throws, poor decision making, and bad/ticky-tack fouls.
If they are able to clean even a portion of those things up and can avoid an implosion similar to what they suffered in Game 1, there is no reason to believe the Mavs can't pull off the impossible.
They aren't the only lower seed putting up a fight either, with the Portland Trailblazers and Orlando Magic each taking Game 1 of their respective series against the number one seeded Los Angles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
So, why not the team with the best offense in NBA history? Why not the team that is well ahead of their development schedule, with two of the brightest young stars in today's game?
Why not the Dallas Mavericks?