Luka Doncic poured in 40 points in Game 3 but he still had a team-worst plus-minus when he was on the floor. Doncic admits the Western Conference Finals has turned into a learning experience for him and his Mavericks teammates, Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes.
“I’m still learning,” Doncic said. “I think the first two quarters, I played very bad. That’s on me. But I’m still learning. I think after this season is done, whatever we are, I think we’re going to look back and learn a lot of things. It’s my first time in the conference finals in the NBA. I’m 23, man. I’m still learning a lot.”
Jason Kidd had a similar take on his team falling behind 3-0 in the series.
“This is just the beginning of this journey,” Kidd said. “I know you guys had us winning the championship before the season started. And that’s a joke if you didn’t get it. But this is a lot bigger than just this one game or this one series. This is huge for our franchise because none of you guys had us here.”
We have more on the Mavericks:
- The franchise has racked up $175K in fines for bench decorum violations during the postseason. The league believes the conduct of the Mavs bench impacts player safety, competitiveness and fan consideration, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. After the season, the NBA will explore ways to address bench decorum during games in real time, Zillgitt adds. Dallas bench players standing up for long periods of time and an incident in which Stephen Curry made a turnover because the Mavs’ Theo Pinson was wearing a white shirt on the bench were particularly irksome to league officials.
- How can Dallas reach Golden State’s level in the future? One area to upgrade is center, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer opines. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber have been unable to stop the Warriors from attacking the basket. The Mavericks also needs more perimeter threats around Doncic, according to O’Connor, who believes the Mavs should pursue the likes of Rudy Gobert, Jusuf Nurkic and Deandre Ayton at center and/or consider a sign-and-trade for Zach LaVine. They also shouldn’t rule out a sign-and-trade involving Jalen Brunson, O’Connor writes.
- The Doncic-Curry matchup is an apples to oranges comparison because they’re at different stages of their careers and play in different systems, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News writes. Doncic is also surrounded by mainly spot-up shooters while the Warriors have a multitudes of creators around Curry in their rotation.