Luka Doncic's night-and-day change tremendously increases Mavericks' Finals chances

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks stood toe to toe with the Minnesota Timberwolves to tip off the Western Conference Finals. Star point guard Kyrie Irving broke his first-half seal by scoring 24 of his 30 points in the opening 24 minutes. Irving has largely struggled in the first half of games which is why this production is needed if the Mavericks are to have any chance at beating Minnesota.

After a back-and-forth second half, Dallas would close things out after a late fourth-quarter push to secure the 108-105 win and take a 1-0 series lead.

A number of role players stepped up in the winning effort including P.J. Washington. Despite not having the best night on the offensive end, Washington nailed a huge three to take the lead late in the fourth and even guarded Karl-Anthony Towns for large game stretches.

Luka Doncic's improved health tremendously increases Mavericks' Finals chances

With the Mavericks holding a massive 1-0 series lead over the Timberwolves, a lot of focus has shifted to the health of Luka Doncic after he exploded for 33 points in Wednesday's win.

Doncic has battled many injuries during this playoff run, which has had some fans scratching their heads. Not only has Doncic not played the best, but at times he's struggled to find his identity throughout this year's playoffs. This could have all changed after a recent report.

During Tim Cato's latest podcast "The Only Mavericks Podcast" Cato of The Athletic mentioned how this is the best Luka has felt since sustaining multiple knee and ankle injuries early in the Mavericks playoff run. Doncic could be in for a historic run to the NBA Finals if this is true.

Doncic's health has been of the utmost importance during this season's playoffs which is why a healthy Doncic could be the difference in the Mavs winning and losing against the Timberwolves.

Doncic closed out the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder with near back-to-back 30-point games. Doncic's 33 points in Game 1 against the Timberwolves is even more proof to believe this is the healthiest he has been since ending the regular season.

Even more proof, Doncic has a long history of nagging up and down the court when being bothered by small injuries. Since closing out the Thunder in six games, Doncic's demeanor and emotion have changed from anger and grimaces to smiles and trash-talking.

The Mavericks will need many more games like this out of Doncic if they wish to advance past the T-Wolves, but if they can get this level of production, the Mavericks could be in store for their first Finals appearance in over a decade.

For more updates on the Dallas Mavericks playoff series with the Minnesota Timberwolves, stay plugged in.