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Luka Doncic Admits Relief On Finally Getting Out Of The First Round: "Last Two Years Were Tough"

Luka Doncic Admits Relief On Finally Getting Out Of The First Round: "Last Two Years Were Tough"

Luka Doncic has been one of the most exciting young stars in basketball for the last few seasons. He has already become a perennial All-NBA and All-Star member despite being just 23. However, there was one aspect of his on-court performance that still kept detractors against him.

That aspect was winning in the playoffs. While Doncic still had historic numbers in his 2020 and 2021 Playoff performances against the LA Clippers with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Mavericks got bounced in the first round both seasons. Finally, Doncic progresses in a season where injuries to Leonard and George kept the Clippers out of the Playoffs.

After eliminating the Utah Jazz in Game 6 and booking a berth in the second round, Doncic heaved a sigh of relief and openly admitted how happy he was to get out of the first round.

Doncic's play this year hasn't been as strong as it was against the Clippers, but that is because Luka was also working himself back from injury and trusting players like Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie more. The natural growth of the young players mixed in with Jason Kidd giving the team a defensive identity, the success was bound to follow.

Doncic should be in much better shape with his injury by the time the series against Phoenix starts. He looked like he was able to play without discomfort this game, so the goal will be to get better and be a 100% when Game 1 tips off in Phoenix on Monday. 

The Mavericks do not have a Luka-reliant offense anymore, with Brunson especially showing up as a very capable secondary ball-handler. He struggled against the Clippers mightily last season, but his emergence this season has helped him solidify his position on the Mavericks and around the league. Luka and the entire Mavericks organization can breathe easy knowing they broke the first-round curse that haunted the franchise for the last 11 seasons.