Mavs Notes: Doncic, Officiating, Defense, Lively

Luka Doncic has a long history of officiating complaints and Game 3 of the Finals on Wednesday was no different. The Mavericks superstar fouled out with 4:12 remaining and felt he was victimized by unfriendly whistles, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“We couldn’t play physical,” Doncic said. “I don’t know. I don’t want to say nothing. You know, six fouls in the NBA Finals, basically I’m like this (motioning with his palms up). Come on, man. Be better than that.”

The sixth foul, in which Jaylen Brown tripped over Doncic’s knee, was challenged by coach Jason Kidd. However, Kidd knew it wouldn’t be overturned, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes.

“I was stuck. I had to challenge it,” Kidd said.

All but two of the fouls whistled against Doncic occurred in the fourth quarter.

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Doncic is feeling the burden of being a superstar on the NBA’s biggest stage, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic opines. Doncic simply hasn’t excelled at both ends of the floor, which is why his team is staring at a 3-0 deficit in the series. Thompson adds that the All-NBA guard will eventually will join the ranks of the ring bearers once he learns how to elevate his game in these situations.
  • Doncic’s defensive shortcomings are the elephant in the room, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports notes. That’s been a major obstacle for the team to try to overcome. “He’s got to be able to guard and understand that we’re there to protect him and help him if he does get beat,” Kidd said.
  • The team’s belated rally was sparked by rookie Dereck Lively, who implored his teammates to keep their heads up even as they fell behind by as many as 21 points. “He rallied us tonight, Came to the bench and just told us to keep believing,” Kyrie Irving said, per Tim Cato of The Athletic. Irving and the veterans are impressed by Lively’s maturity. The big man struggled during the first two games and was quick to take the blame. “For him to take accountability like that after Game 2, to be 20 years old, that’s a big step,” Irving said. “The journey is the reward. I always told him this mission is bigger than us. It’s just not solely focused on this year. We have a future together where we’re going to continue to grow as teammates.”
View Comments (38)