Luka Doncic is going to have a hard time over his career to be a playoff winner without the right pieces around him. While the Dallas Mavericks have a solid team that earned their way to the second round, Game 1 against Phoenix has proven that the Mavs need a little more in their arsenal.
However, this has given Doncic the perfect stage to become one of the most-known playoff performers in the NBA. We already have a decent sample size that shows the increase in Doncic's numbers every time we are in the Playoffs. He was muted and working his way back from injury against Utah but started the Phoenix series off with a classic.
Doncic had 45 points, his 6th 40-point game in his playoff career. What's incredible is that Doncic has done this in just his 17th post-season game. He has already surpassed the likes of Larry Bird, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and others for most 40-point games. He is tied with Stephen Curry and George Gervin.
Luka achieving these numbers at his age is incredible. His individual production in the playoffs is Jordan-esque, as Doncic is matching MJ's 33.4 points average in the playoffs so far in his career. Good thing he's a Jordan Brand athlete so that MJ can see what he's doing first-hand.
The issue for Doncic is that his performances aren't necessarily bringing big wins back to his team. The first-round series against the Utah Jazz is the only playoff series Luka has won in his career, and he was missing for the first three games.
Doncic is a transcendent talent, but he needs to be a giant killer in the playoffs. Like how LeBron James upset the Detroit Pistons en route to his first NBA Finals, Doncic needs to do something similar to solidify his rapid rise into being a perennial MVP candidate in this league.