Dallas Mavericks X-factor in playoffs: 1. Luka’s play
Luka Doncic has had a rough year when it comes to technical fouls, totaling a whopping 15 during the regular season. He avoided a suspension, but things get more difficult from here.
Luka’s count has reset for the playoffs. There is a new points system in the postseason that calls for suspension much earlier, especially dealing with flagrant fouls. Any player that exceeds the three-point mark will receive an automatic one-game suspension. Also, each technical foul a player receives will grant them a fine, and won’t receive a suspension until the seventh technical of the postseason. This gives Luka plenty of breathing room, and should not force him to play timid during this postseason.
Doncic is the driving force of this team. He has been in the MVP discussion because of the load the 22-year-old had to carry this year. COVID-19 protocols hitting the Mavs hard, Kristaps Porzingis being injured, and having to worry about the play-in tournament has made it difficult for the superstar to carry so much weight.
He has done it with flying colors, however, averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game in 66 games. These averages are slightly down from last year, but he has been significantly more efficient in scoring the ball. His play will determine whether the Dallas Mavericks upset the LA Clippers and advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.