4 Struggling Mavericks who must step up to take down the Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

1. Luka Doncic

One of the craziest parts of the 2024 NBA Playoffs has been the struggles of Luka Doncic, and this has unarguably been the worst playoffs of his career. Doncic is averaging 26.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 26 percent from downtown.

Doncic's injuries are clearly hindering his performance, but he still has to be much, much better. Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault proclaimed before the series started that Lu Dort would be guarding Doncic, and he has done a decent job so far.

Although Doncic has gotten the best of him plenty of times, Dort's most value in the series has been frustrating Doncic. He has been giving him no airspace, and Doncic seems more focused on drawing fouls than just playing his game.

This is not the same Doncic that fans saw during the regular season, and he must be better, regardless of injury. Doncic is missing many of the shots around the bucket that he typically makes, and the outcome of this series could rest on his shoulders.

A vintage Luka performance would almost guarantee a Mavs win, and Dallas is yet to see a true vintage Luka performance despite him having a couple of solid performances.

Even Doncic would be the first one to tell you that he isn't performing at his normal level, and the Mavs need him to step up in a big way in Game 5.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.