With the San Antonio Spurs not in the playoff picture, there are a few reasons to root for Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic — at least for round one.
It still hasn’t quite set in that the San Antonio Spurs aren’t in the postseason, but the quality of the NBA playoffs is making coping a bit easier. The Western Conference, in particular, has had multiple exciting games that have come down to the wire, which continued Sunday afternoon when the Dallas Mavericks took on the LA Clippers in Game 4 of their series.
While it’s nowhere near the same as rooting for the Silver and Black, there’s an excellent case to make for why Spurs fans should be cheering on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. After a hard-fought game in which Doncic led a comeback from 21 points down, the last offensive possession from the Clippers resulted in a clutch play by two of San Antonio’s biggest enemies.
Drawing a double team from Dallas in the middle of the paint, Kawhi Leonard kicked the ball out to a wide-open Marcus Morris in the corner. Morris then nailed a 3-pointer to put L.A. up 133-132 with just nine seconds left in overtime.
While we know all about the unfortunate history between Leonard and the Spurs, the way Morris burned San Antonio, the last offseason played a huge role in them missing the playoffs this season. His decision to back out of his verbal commitment also cost the Spurs an extremely efficient 3-point shooter in Davis Bertans, who averaged a career-high 15.4 points per game for Washington this year.
LUKA. FOR. THE. WIN.
— NBA (@NBA) August 23, 2020
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When it comes to the Most Wanted list for San Antonio, Kawhi and Marcus are right up there near the top. Watching them combine to become playoff heroes in a pivotal Game 4 would’ve been like being sucker-punched and then stepped on.
That’s why this moment from Luka Doncic had me, and likely many other Spurs fans, shouting while also breathing a sigh of relief.
With the series now tied 2-2 and Doncic playing at a megastar level, the possibility of the Mavericks upsetting the Clippers is real. While he’s a Midwest Division rival and will undoubtedly give the Spurs headaches for years to come, we need to shelf that worry for now and cheer on the 21-year-old as he looks to vanquish a couple of common enemies.
For now, go Luka go. Next season, however, the Spurs will be back with an abundance of young, quick defenders to help solve the problem he’s quickly becoming.