For the first time since 2011, the Dallas Mavericks have reached the Western Conference finals. However, the chances of their season ending in glory are ridiculously slim.
It has been a tough run for Dallas, as they have had to dig deep for victories. In the first round, they took on Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, eventually breaking the cycle of first-round exits that have plagued the team since 2020.
They have weathered several storms to reach the Western Conference finals, including defeating the best team in the regular season, the Phoenix Suns. However, their journey might soon be coming to an end.
Dallas is currently down 3-0 against the Golden State Warriors, a position no team has come back from in the history of the NBA. While they might get a couple of wins, it is difficult to imagine they will take the series.
Later tonight, the Mavericks will host the Warriors and will be looking to avoid the sweep. They will look to some of their key players for production on both ends of the floor if they are to come out with a win.
That said, here are the three most key players on the Dallas Mavericks roster.
#3 Spencer Dinwiddie
The Mavericks are not known for their depth, but Spencer Dinwiddie has been productive as a sixth man. His contributions off the bench have played a key role in their deep playoff run.
Dinwiddie joined Dallas midway through the season and was focused on not messing up the team’s chemistry.
Although he was a starting point guard with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, he accepted his new role and has thrived in it. The combo guard is averaging 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the playoffs.
#2 Jalen Brunson
Jalen Brunson has stepped up as the number two guy on the team, a role that was once filled by Kristaps Porzingis. Since getting picked by Dallas in the 2018 draft, he has been the sixth man for the franchise.
However, he is starting to come into his own. In cases where Luka Doncic was unavailable, the 25-year-old has taken charge of proceedings.
A clear example was during the first two games of their first-round tie against the Jazz. He scored 65 total points in the two games before Doncic’s return.
Through 16 games, Brunson has averaged 22.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
#1 Luka Doncic
The Mavericks’ success is largely dependent on Doncic’s performance, as he can turn their fortunes. While a series win is highly unlikely, he can help them avoid a sweep.
Doncic has been exceptional this postseason, leading the league in scoring. The All-Star guard is averaging 32.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 47.0% from the field.
However, his defense needs a lot more improvement. Luka was posterized by Andrew Wiggins in their last game and has often been targeted by the Warriors.
Nonetheless, the Slovenian has by far been one of the best players in the playoffs so far. He was primarily responsible for their heroics against the top-seeded Suns in the conference semifinals.