There have been some parallels between the Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Mavericks in their respective runs to the championship round of their respective leagues. The Oilers, led by generational talent Connor McDavid, finally broke through, getting past the Western Conference gauntlet en route to their first Stanley Cup Final berth in 18 years. Meanwhile, the Mavericks, led by the transcendent Luka Doncic, recovered from last season's disappointment and overcome a tough trio of teams, including the team that eliminated them back in 2020 and 2021, the Los Angeles Clippers, to lead the Mavs to the NBA Finals.

Unfortunately for fans of those teams, the similarities don't end there. There was much excitement that two of the greatest players in their respective sports will finally get a chance to cement their legacy as champions, and both teams looked like they had momentum on their side after defeating two teams that were favored against them in the Conference Finals. But now, here the Oilers and Mavericks stand, both down 3-0, with Edmonton suffering a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

What a sobering reality it is for the Oilers and Mavericks to come so close, yet finish so far of their respective goals. While it's not over until their opponents, the Panthers and Boston Celtics, respectively, win four games, mounting a miracle comeback looks rather unlikely. Adding to this is the fact that fans on social media are relentless and don't care about anyone's feelings, then things aren't looking so good for both teams, especially for their superstars, Connor McDavid and Luka Doncic.

“McFraud? McNothing? McCantWinTheBigOne? Connor McDavid you’re the Luka Doncic of the NHL and it’s sad. Expected more outta you.” – @HSBTyKo

“McDavid and Doncic could switch places right now and still be down 3-0 in the series!” – @MilosTweets

In fact, some fans think that Connor McDavid is having a more disappointing series for the Oilers than Luka Doncic is for the Mavericks.

“McDavid [has been more disappointing] and it’s not even close Jonny. Luka is averaging 30+ points for funsies and the rest of his team isn’t showing up. McDavid has one assist through three games,” – @nyrangersmuse

(Note: Connor McDavid now has three assists through three Stanley Cup Final games. But he has performed below expectations regardless.)

“McDavid, and it’s not even close. Luka’s at least trying. The Celtics are simply too good.” – @PeterFegan8

“McDavid easily bro what? He’s the best player in the world and doing almost nothing. Luka is the only one doing something on the Mavs.” – @_NYSportsGuy

Coming to within four wins away of a championship is always hard in any professional sport. There are no guarantees that either the Oilers or Mavericks make it this far again in the immediate future. But it's not yet the end of the line for these two teams. They have to dig deep, especially Connor McDavid and Luka Doncic, as their championship hopes aren't truly dead until the horn sounds in Game 4 and they're down and out.

Connor McDavid, Oilers do their best Luka Doncic, Mavericks impression

It took a while for the Oilers to build a sustainable contending team around Connor McDavid. It wasn't until 2022 when they would make it back to the second round after a bit of a flukey run in 2017. The Oilers know that there is no better time for them to reclaim NHL supremacy than the present, but instead, they have fallen flat on their faces against a Panthers team that's raring to avenge its Stanley Cup Final defeat last year.

McDavid seems to be showing some signs of life in the Oilers' failed comeback attempt in Game 3 (yet another similarity between the Oilers and Mavericks… this is getting eerie), but overall, his play has dropped off. But it's not just McDavid who's been struggling. His superstar teammate, Leon Draisaitl, has been AWOL, putting up a grand total of zero points through three games despite spending 70 minutes and 25 seconds on the ice.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic, through the first two games of the 2024 NBA Finals, had no semblance of consistent help from his teammates. Kyrie Irving shot the ball poorly on the road, putting the Mavericks in a difficult position heading into Game 3. Meanwhile, the Mavs' role players have been struggling as well, with the Celtics eliminating the lob threat, content to live with three-point attempts from the team's subpar shooters.

The Oilers and Mavericks simply ran into teams that have already learned how to deal with a defeat in the Finals. If they don't mount an unlikely comeback, starting in their respective Game 4s, then they'll be the next teams to try and avenge these heartbreaking defeats, which would then make an eventual championship breakthrough that much sweeter.