Years of experience have led up to this. The Dallas Mavericks are a win away from reaching the final round and get a chance to take home the Larry O'Brien trophy. Everyone was fairly ready to make Anthony Edwards the face of the league after the Minnesota Timberwolves dethroned the Denver Nuggets. But, Luka Doncic has been quietly rising up to ranks to be the next European to take the throne. This 116 to 107 victory surely proved that and avid spectators of the NBA Playoffs can agree.

The Mavericks legend, face of the NBA

May 26, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates after the win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in game three of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sport
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic completely picked apart every defensive coverage that Chris Finch and the Timberwolves threw at him. Whenever fatigue hit or he had to sit on the bench for a while, Kyrie Irving was the other tormentor which led the Mavericks to a commanding NBA Playoffs series lead. The common denominator in both of these scenarios? It was often Anthony Edwards needing to be the point-of-attack defender or getting hounded by the Mavericks duo.

Everyone noticed how the experienced backcourt under Jason Kidd was levels above the Timberwolves superstar. They even made big declarations about Anthony Edwards' current situation.

“Luka Doncic is showing that there are levels to being a superstar. Anthony Edwards is great but he’s nowhere near that level yet,” a fan wrote.

Some were even adding the Timberwolves star to the long list of players demolished by the Mavericks legend, “What does Anthony Edwards have to say now? Luka is giving him that belt too. Luka Doncic officially has a new son, let’s all welcome Anthony Doncic into the world.”

Others were even quick to say that Edwards was never going to be the face of the league at all, “They tried to jump Anthony Edwards to the front of the line, without basis. Don’t compare him to Luka Doncic. Luka will now run the west for the next 5+ years like Steph Curry did.”

The general consensus? It looks like the Mavericks' superstar is just leagues above everyone else, “Luka Doncic is just bigger, stronger, and better than anything the Timberwolves have. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combining to shoot 16-of-42 from the field is a problem, but it all comes down to there being no answers for Luka.”

Luka Doncic torments the Timberwolves for the third straight time

It was the same scheme all throughout Game 3. The very same draw-ups that got Rudy Gobert to defend on drop coverage just victimized other Timberwolves. This along with other variations of their play sets helped get Doncic 33 points on 50% shooting from the field. His fingerprints were also all over the place and not just in scoring. He finished the game with six rebounds, five assists, five huge steals, and a block

It was also Doncic's gravity that helped Kyrie Irving thrive against the Timberwolves' single coverage defense on the perimeter. This also got the veteran 33 points while PJ Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. rounded out the double-digit scorers by combining for 27 points.

One more win and the Mavericks have a shot to repeat a significant even that happened 13 years ago.