Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks finally broke through in the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4. Dallas’ first win in the series kept their flickering hopes alive as no NBA team has ever overcome an 0-3 deficit.
Behind Doncic’s yet again stellar performance, the Mavericks staved off elimination for the second consecutive series in the playoffs. They were down 2-3 against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns before they obliterated their opponents in the next two games to proceed deeper in the 2022 NBA postseason.
Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, on an episode of "Point Forward," marveled at Luka Doncic. He has been impressed by Doncic's mind-boggling displays since entering the NBA, particularly during this season, stating:
“I wanna talk about somebody that has our attention, by our I mean the Warriors, but he’s had mine for a few years now, thanks to ET [Evan Turner]. Luka Doncic, this white boy is a problem and it’s getting to the point where I don't think he's white anymore.”
Iguodala marveled at how Luka Doncic has been dominating in the playoffs despite lacking the foot speed or athleticism to get by defenders. The Slovenian superstar relies on his smarts, which is rare for someone so young and his otherworldly basketball skills to beat opponents.
Against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns, the All-NBA guard shone the brightest. He had more points than Devin Booker, more assists than Chris Paul, more rebounds than Deandre Ayton and more steals than Mikal Bridges.
Doncic averaged 32.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.1 steals in the seven-game series. He was so good that the inevitable comparisons between Larry Bird started pouring in. The Boston Celtics legend is considered by many to be the yardstick by which all white NBA superstars are measured.
Luka Doncic is still learning
Often overlooked when criticisms start to come in is Luka Doncic’s age. He is only 23 years old and will only get better with every high-stakes playoff game, particularly against the championship pedigree of the Golden State Warriors.
The biggest lesson “Luka Legend” has probably learned is how championship teams never quit. Dallas had Golden State on the ropes in Game 2, but the Warriors still managed to win the game. The Warriors took every shot the Mavericks threw at them and never lost their composure.
Game 4 was another taste of what legit title contenders do. The Mavericks were seemingly cruising to a win before the Warriors bench mob nearly caused a catastrophic night in Texas. Doncic's timely intervention prevented what could have been a horrific failure by Dallas.