Luka Doncic is not for games. The Slovenian knows that his team is playing the playoffs and that, ahead, the Blazers and Nuggets are strong. But he also sees a viable option, one that no one wants to talk about in Los Angeles: LeBron James and Anthony Davis are out of the game and the Lakers are facing a crisis of results that they will try to alleviate as much as possible, but that can reach be very big. Right now, the Texans are 2.5 games behind the Angelenos, a difference that can be cut in a bad week for one or a very good week for the other. With that combination, the Mavericks would overtake those in purple and gold (who are now fifth, with Portland only half a game away) and avoid the play-in, that pre-game special that the NBA invented the times of pandemic and that has prolonged this year (in which there is still a pandemic, of course), doubling the participants and demolishing that idea of being above 50% of victories, giving too many options to the majority and complicating the life of franchises that would deserve more.
Exceeding seventh and finishing in the top six would leave the Mavericks without the play-in, but with direct qualification for the playoffs. And it is not too daring to think that they can achieve such a feat, especially if we take into account the dynamics of the Lakers (complicated calendar and enormous difficulty to beat teams that are above 50% victories) … and the his own. The level shown, by the Texans, against the Jazz, has been superlative, and Doncic’s in particular has been out of the predictions. Again, of course, since the Slovenian has accustomed us to marvel at night, yes, and night too, without any kind of shame. Against the Jazz, he added 31 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, did everything despite the losses of his team (Porzinguis, Marjanovic …) and was very confident in the launch: 11 of 26 in field goals, something acceptable, and 6 out of 12 in triples, a spectacular figure that also silences those gossip that reproaches him for his irregularity from the outside.