The Dallas Mavericks continued their journey in the 2022 NBA playoffs when they started the second-round series against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The Arizonans, as the best team in the West in the regular season, took care of the Mavs, giving them the business and putting them to sleep with a 1-0 lead in the series.
Luka Doncic balled his heart out but still wasn't enough to beat Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, and co. The Slovenian point guard dropped 45 points on his opponents, recording another incredible performance in the postseason. In doing so, he recorded his 6th 40-PT game in the playoffs, surpassing big players like Larry Bird, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and others.
Still, individual performances don't keep Luka happy if his team isn't getting dubs, and that pain transcends the player himself. Dallas' head coach Jason Kidd reacted to this situation, praising his superstar after another incredible game, but also calling out his players for not bringing the help Luka needed to beat the Suns.
"He got whatever he wanted, when you look at the shots in the paint, behind the arc, midrange, and then also I thought he got his teammates some great looks that we normally had made," Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. "I thought he played great.
"We've just got to get someone to join the party."
Luka has been on a solo mission since he entered the league, being the only elite player on the Mavericks' roster. They paired him up with Kristaps Porzingis, but things didn't work between them. Spencer Dinwiddie landed as that second scorer for the team, but things haven't gone in his favor either.
A lot has been said about this situation and how Luka can single-handedly lead his team to the promised land like Dirk Nowitzki in 2011. If he can pull it off, more stars will like to go play with him, but we need to wait and see what he can do for this Mavs team that only this year made it past the first round of the playoffs.