Dallas Mavericks best playoff moments: 15. 2016 and 2020 first round
For starters, the 2016 playoffs were the last time Dirk Nowitzki played in a playoff. The 2020 playoffs are the first time the Mavs played in the postseason without Dirk since 1990. Second, for the Mavericks to turn around their fortunes that quickly and make the playoffs after having a top-five pick just two years ago is incredible.
In 2016, the Mavericks lost in five games to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They never had a chance at winning that series.
Although, the Mavericks are heavy underdogs in 2020, having Luka provides some hope and enjoyment when watching the team. Hopefully, Luka can develop into a playoff “killer” like Dirk was and this series against the Clippers is the first step.
After game one, it is clear the Mavericks can compete. Once they have the luxury of playing an entire game with Kristaps Porzingis, perhaps Dallas can stretch this series out. KP was ejected in game one for two “ticky-tacky” technicals which swung the contest in the Clipper’s favor. Ten years from now, KP’s ejection in the Orlando bubble could be a key moment in Mavs history.
For now, Mavs fans can only speculate. Avoiding NBA purgatory and long runs in the lottery makes this a huge moment going forward. Will the Mavericks lose early as they did in 2016? Maybe, but any experience for Luka in the playoffs will lead to his name being included on many of these lists going forward. Only time will tell what is in store for the Mavericks.