Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 4 playoff loss to Jazz: 1. Luka being Luka
Luka Doncic strained his calf in the regular-season finale on April 10, and it caused him to miss the first three games of this series. The 23-year-old was cleared to play in Game 4, and he showed no rust. The Mavericks changed up his minute’s pattern to avoid having him on the floor for the entire first and third quarters, but Doncic looked healthy and ready to shine moving forward.
In his return, Luka finished with 30 points, ten rebounds, four assists, and two steals as he made 11 of his 21 field goal attempts. He eliminated Utah’s rebounding edge from the first three games, and the Mavericks outscored the Jazz by seven in Doncic’s 34 minutes on the floor.
Dallas is going to need more minutes from Luka moving forward, but it was fantastic to see the 23-year-old superstar healthy and showing no signs of rust.
The Jazz are going to forced Doncic to defend on the ball in this series, and he needs to be up for that challenge. That could mean giving him a bit more rest, especially coming off a calf strain. Luka can put up monster numbers and lead the Mavericks past Utah, but he needs to make it happen over the final three games of the series.
The Dallas Mavericks are now facing a must-win game at home on Monday night. They cannot afford to go back to Utah for Game 6 having to win two straight contests. Expect the American Airlines Center to be rocking as Luka Doncic attempts to lead the Mavs to win. Do not miss it.