Sport Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis Could Go Down as an All-Time Great Duo
NBA: Doncic strong again - Mavs beat Philly after extra time
The Dallas Mavericks won their last prep game before the restart. An extension was needed against the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas won 118: 115. The best man was once again Luka Doncic with 23 points. © Provided by SPOX Luka Doncic scored 23 points against the Sixers. Philadelphia 76ers (1-2) - Dallas Mavericks (2-1) 115: 118 OT ( BOXSCORE ) The Slovenian did it in 26 minutes, adding 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The last four months of no live sports has left lots of room to think about the future. Thinking about the immediate future is usually depressing, so I tend to think about the far future. I was doing just that the other afternoon while playing2K. I was the GM of the Dallas Mavericks, and we were damn good. That got me thinking about the real-life viability of the - pairing. Honestly? The sky is the limit.
Porzingis played for the first time in a while this year. He tore his ACL in February 2018 and was traded to the Mavs a year later, but didn't suit up until the fall of 2019. He played in 51 of 67 possible games this season and was still getting back into the swing of things, but averaged 19 points per game with two blocks while shooting 35 percent from three on seven tries per contest.
NBA: Dallas safe despite Suns bankruptcy in the playoffs - Doncic with 40 points
The Dallas Mavericks conceded the second loss in the second game after the restart. In the 115: 117 defeat, the Texans were not satisfied with 40 points from Luka Doncic or a 15-point lead in the second quarter. Seventh place in the west and the first playoff participation after three years of abstinence cannot be taken from the Mavs. © provided by SPOX A strong Doncic was not enough for the Mavericks to win against Phoenix.
It was also the first time Porzingis has had to share the ball as a fully-realized player, which is an adjustment in of itself. He spent the first two seasons of his NBA career with Carmelo Anthony, but didn't transform into the elite offensive player and shot-swatter we know him as now until Anthony left town. He had a 26 percent usage rate this year, which is significantly lower than the 31 percent usage rate he posted in his last, All-Star season in New York. This season, Doncic was also more ball-dominant than even Anthony was during Porzingis' early years.
Porzingis signed a multi-year extension to stay in Dallas for the foreseeable future, and you can bet your mortgage on Dallas giving Doncic literally whatever he wants when the time comes to extend him. The two will have more than enough time to get acclimated. Once that happens, their offensive potential is tantalizing. If Porzingis can shoot close to 40 percent from deep like he did in 2017-18, his shooting will offset Doncic's struggles from there (31 percent from downtown this season).
Defensively, it's a bit more of a question mark. Doncic will probably top off as a fine defender. Porzingis has a feel for shot-blocking but still has some work to do before being considered a legit rim protector. That doesn't matter as much when you're running the league's best offense, though. Doncic is only going to get better, as hard as that is to believe, and once Porzingis is both fully comfortable on the court and with Doncic, there's nothing they can't do. Double Doncic off the pick-and-roll and give Porzingis a wide-open three, or let Doncic tear your defense apart without trapping him. A real Catch-22.
They'll be so fun to watch. I can't wait.
The Mavs are staring down a nightmare 1st-round matchup with the Clippers .
The Los Angeles Clippers are a bad matchup for just about every team in the NBA, but among the teams in the Western Conference playoff picture, they present a particularly daunting challenge for the Dallas Mavericks. They demonstrated as much once again Thursday night, pulling away late to win 126-111 and complete a sweep of the teams' regular-season series. The Mavs had a chance to play their way out of the nightmare matchup during the seeding stage in Orlando, but they likely squandered it by collapsing in crunch time and losing winnable games against the Rockets and Suns. Dallas is now all but locked into the No.