Luka Doncic, Mavs’ major weakness exposed by Clippers in Game 7
Simply put, the Mavs’ major weakness heading into the playoffs was exposed: their lack of depth.
As noted by Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News, the Mavs’ bench was completely outscored by the Clippers’ reserves, 27-6. Yes, that’s a 21-point difference!
Dwight Powell (4) and Jalen Brunson (2) were the only ones to score for the Mavs off the bench, with the likes of Trey Burke, Josh Richardson and Maxi Kleber laying an egg. Meanwhile, the Clippers saw Terance Mann (13), Luke Kennard (11) and Rajon Rondo (3) provide some quality minutes as part of the second unit.
While a lot of people has blamed Porzingis for failing to live up as a true second option for the Mavs, the team has certainly a bigger fish to fry regarding their roster. Dallas needs depth, particularly in playmaking to ease the burden on Doncic.
As what fans have seen in the Clippers series, Luka can dominate with his scoring. Just look at his 46 points in Game 7. However, his fourth quarter performances throughout the showdown is telling. He finished with a combined 40 points in the fourth quarter of the whole series, which is the lowest among any other quarters.
Luka Doncic by quarter this playoffs:
1Q: 85 PTS, 54 FG%, 48 3P%
2Q: 71 PTS, 62 FG%, 57 3P%
3Q: 54 PTS, 44 FG%, 32 3P%
4Q: 40 PTS, 35 FG%, 28 3P%
You can’t run the offense every single possession and not get tired. He needs playmaking help. pic.twitter.com/yWAfbchEjN
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 6, 2021
His decline in performance in each quarter shows how the heavy workload affects him as the game progresses. The Slovenian youngster is a closer–he has proven that numerous times already–but he can’t perform that well for the Mavs if he has to do everything right from the start.
The Mavs have a solid core in Luka, KP and THJ. However, it is made clear they need the right supporting cast to unlock their full potential.