NBA MVP Power Rankings: Major shakeup in top three after first round of playoffs

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 6

3. Luka Doncic

Last rank: 1

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks had an unsettling first-round opponent when they first matched up. The LA Clippers were fresh off their best regular season in years and with their newfound big three, every fan knew it wouldn't be an easy win.

Despite all the noise, Dallas defeated the aging Clippers in a surprising six games. However, Doncic didn't perform the best and arguably had his worst playoff series ever after battling injury and illness throughout those two weeks. Game 5 was the only accurate representation of how we know Doncic can play in a playoff atmosphere.

After dispatching the Clippers in six games, the Mavericks now face an even tougher opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have built around their young superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and could prove to win over the Mavericks with their youthful roster.

Doncic will need to turn his postseason around if he wishes to reach the Western Conference Finals once again. Despite struggling, Doncic still averaged a near 30-point triple-double against the Clippers just on inefficient numbers. He also proved to be a capable defender on some of the Clippers' biggest names.

One aspect of the Mavericks' upcoming playoff matchup with the Thunder that fans have failed to talk about is the battle between the two young superstars. All year long, Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander have jockeyed back and forth in MVP conversations and even built a little rivalry together in the regular season.

Assuming this series goes the distance, it will be one that fans and media talk about for years after it happens.