The Dallas Mavericks won two of their first three games against the Utah Jazz in their first round playoff series without Luka Doncic. He was recovering from a calf strain as his team took command of the series, and the Mavs dominated following his return to take the series in six games.
Doncic is an absolute bucket. He averages 26.4 points per game during his career and has scored 30-plus in ten of his 16 career NBA playoff games. The 23-year-old continues to improve, and he has proven he can solve any defense.
Former NBA head coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post podcast on April 29 to discuss the latest happenings in the playoffs where Van Gundy shared his thoughts about defending Luka.
Jeff Van Gundy thinks Luka Doncic is the most difficult matchup in the NBA
Van Gundy and Lowe were discussing the upcoming series between the Mavericks and Suns when the former coach had this to say about Luka.
"I do believe Doncic is the hardest matchup in the NBA. There is no good way to play him. You play drop that is a terrible coverage. If you try to switch, most fives don’t have a great chance."
Van Gundy continued by saying his size, skill, and passing ability set him apart offensively, and he praised his improved commitment on the defensive end of the floor.
The Mavericks outscored the Jazz by 54 points in the 109 minutes Doncic was on the floor in their first-round series, but Utah held a 20-point edge in the 179 minutes without Luka, which includes the three games he missed recovering from his calf strain.
Van Gundy is right about Doncic. There is no good way to guard him. Any opponent will have to throw two at the Mavs superstar and hope to force the ball out of his hands. It leaves someone else wide open, and Luka is going to find them. The 6’7 guard is a nightmare to gameplan against, and he always performs his best in the biggest moments.
Doncic is special, and he plans on leading the Dallas Mavericks to a championship. They believe they can defeat the Phoenix Suns to advance to the Western Conference Finals, and it will be a fascinating series to watch. Do not miss it.