Luka Doncic’s health should be priority number one
Every NBA fan, observer, employee, etc… held their breath when Luka Doncic hobbled off the with an apparent ankle injury.
Surprisingly after spending a couple minutes in the locker room with trainer Casey Smith, Luka was deemed eligible to return with an ankle sprain.
However, it didn’t take long to realize how unrealistic that was. Doncic was playing with a clear and obvious limp. He stood around and watched on offense and the Clippers sought him out defensively.
It took only three minutes for the “Let Luka play hurt” experiment to come to an end. And It was about three minutes too long in my opinion.
Luka is the face and future of the franchise. His health and well being is the most important thing. If this was the NBA Finals? Maybe you try sending him out there. But Game 3 of a series you’re unlikely to win? It’s not the place.
The risk simply isn’t worth it. If his health is even slightly in jeopardy, he needs to remain on the sideline for the remainder of the series.
It simply wasn’t the Mavericks night
Those associated with the NBA often use a moniker to describe the fickle nature of it’s games. “It’s a make-or-miss league,” they say.
Tonight was a great example of that. While the numbers evened out down the stretch of a game that was out of reach, the Clippers were well above 50% from the field and 40% from the three all night.
Kawhi Leonard in particular was outstanding, dropping 36 points on healthy 13/24 shooting.
Outside of Curry and Porzingis no other Mavs really had good offensive nights. Luka, Kleber, Hardaway, Burke and Finney-Smith combined to go 8 of 30 from behind the arc. For a team that prides itself on offense, that number has to be better. It’s the only way they have a chance in this series.
It’s time to switch up the look on Kawhi
Bless Maxi Kleber. He’s doing his best against Kawhi Leonard, but he’s simply overmatched. And it’s also impacting his play on the other end, where they need his production.
And it’s understandable that Coach Carlisle would be hesitant to commit extra resources to stopping Kawhi. The Clippers have been the best three point shooting team in the bubble.
But which would you rather have, death by Kawhi or everyone else? The choice becomes especially obvious considering Paul George’s massive struggles.
Carlisle will certainly give something else a try in Game 4. We’ll see how that pays off.
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