The Dallas Mavericks finished fifth in the Western Conference, but it took an incredible comeback to get there. They were 8-13 on Feb. 1 and sitting 14th in the Western Conference. The Mavs had been hit hard by the health and safety protocols, but not hard enough for games to be postponed. It looked like Dallas may miss the playoffs, but Luka Doncic had other ideas.
The 22-year-old put the team on his back. He averaged 27.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 8.3 assists on 48.6 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent on his threes to close the season as the Mavericks went 34-17. They finished in a three-way tie in the standings, but Dallas took the fifth seed because they won the Southwest Division for the first time since 2010.
The incredible run put Luka Doncic back in the MVP race too. He started the season as the favorite to win the award, but the slow start sunk his chances. The Mavericks superstar was outstanding all season. He finished sixth in the 2021 NBA MVP voting. Let us take a closer look at the results and why Luka should have earned more votes.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic finishes 6th in 2021 MVP voting
Nikola Jokic won the 2021 NBA MVP award in runaway fashion. Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Chris Paul all finished ahead of Luka. See the final results below.
Doncic deserved to finish inside the top five. He was fourth in 2020 MVP voting and had a better season. The 22-year-old’s added mid-range game made him an unstoppable offensive force. Luka deserved to be ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul. He finished fourth in Basketball-Reference’s value over replacement player (VORP) and FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR. The Mavericks superstar rightfully did not win the MVP award, but he should have earned more votes.
This is just the beginning for Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year. Expect Luka to come back hungry and ready to compete for homecourt in the Western Conference and the 2022 MVP award. The Mavs want to take the next step and go on a deep playoff run. Stay tuned to see how it all shakes out.