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The Dallas Mavericks Defeat the Timberwolves to Advance to the NBA Finals

For the first time since their Finals win in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks have advanced to the NBA finals. With their 4-1 series win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks have punched their ticket to the final series of the basketball season. Luka Doncic will compete in his first finals bout, and he’s carried the Mavericks all season long, with strong statistics and clutch shots, Luka Doncic truly is one of the best basketball players in the world. In round one, they defeated the LA Clippers 4-2, in a series which saw Dallas neutralize Kawhi Leonard and Paul George often enough to find themselves in the next round. The next round found the Mavs facing off against the OKC Thunder, led by fellow MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Dallas won this series 4-2 as well, proving to the world who should’ve had more MVP votes. As mentioned, the final series saw the Mavs meet the Timberwolves. Dallas shut down Anthony Edwards and the T-Wolves, winning the series 4-1.

Dallas Mavericks def. LA Clippers 4-2

After crushing the Los Angeles Clippers 114-101 in Game 6, Dallas advanced to its second conference semifinal in three seasons by making the seemingly impossible appear ordinary. We must note how impactful “Closeout Kyrie” was in this run for the Mavericks. There were 5:38 seconds left when Irving made that game-winning 3-pointer and the subsequent free throw to finish a 4-point play. With Kawhi out of the uniform and staring at a 24-point hole, the Clippers obviously had nothing left in the tank. Irving scored 28 of his 30 points in the clinching game in the second half, with 13 in the third and 15 in the fourth.

Irving destroyed LA in the second halves of games in the series, averaging 20 points on 59.7% from the field and 52.9% from 3-point range with 1.5 steals. Irving dominated in this series, giving the Mavericks the much needed boost they needed and taking some of the load off of Doncic in these postseason games. Their next test came in the form of one of the NBA’s best and youngest teams, the OKC Thunder.

Dallas Mavericks def. OKC Thunder 4-2

In this series, Luka Doncic was the Mavericks’ powerful force against OKC and their team of young stars. In the clincher, Doncic went 29/10/10 for his seventh career playoff triple-double. In terms of points, rebounds, assists, and steals, the five-time All-Star led Dallas at the end of the semifinals. Despite OKC’s intense blitzing, Doncic made all seven of his turnovers in the first three quarters of Game 6, and none in the last quarter, proving further that the MVP finalist can clutch up when his team needs him the most.

SGA in his own right, was a hooper in this series. Unfortunately, lack of experience caught up with the young squad and they fell to the team who punched their ticket to the conference finals for the second time in three years. OKC gave Dallas a run for their money, making them work for each and every win of the series. Lead by Luka Doncic, Dallas made sure they were the team to move on. The next series shaped up to be a good one, facing off against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dallas Mavericks def. Minnesota Timberwolves 4-1

This series showcased the true passion and heart of the Dallas Mavericks. In close games early in the series, it showed that Dallas was able to clutch up in the final minutes, hitting key shots and playing defense, not allowing the Timberwolves to really do anything. In my opinion, this series proved how well Luka and Irving can be together. This series proved how they are one of the best backcourts in the league, maybe one of the greatest we have seen in the last decade-plus.

In game 5, Doncic and Irving immediately went on a heater, with Doncic alone outscoring the T-Wolves in the first quarter. By the end of the half, Doncic and Irving combined for 44 total points, where the T-Wolves only had 44. Even in the second half, the Mavericks just dominated. Irving took over in the second half and finished the game with 36 points. In the end, Kai and Luka combined for a total of 72 points. Two of the best offensive players that have competed in these playoffs, are not stopping here. Luka Doncic was named Western Conference Finals MVP, making it well known that he should have been in deeper contention for the league’s MVP trophy. The NBA Finals will be the next step for Luka and company to prove that this Mavericks team is a team to remember.

NBA Finals: Dallas Mavericks v. Boston Celtics

Luka and Kyrie might be the two best players in the series, but Boston as a complete team is a whole other conversation. Doncic leads the postseason in assists per game, and is seventh in points per game; yet he is the only one still left in the playoffs. Dallas is going to need their 110% efforts to complete the postseason and to defeat the Celtics, who have cruised through the playoffs thus far. It will be a great series. I am excited to see what the Mavericks can do.


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