Luka Doncic an absolute Freaking baller for his first game of playoff against Jazz
Luka Doncic is back, and he is FREAKING BALLER.
Doncic's ankle was wrapped up as he walked out of Vivint Smart Home Arena after Monday night's game. He said he "felt good" but added that his ankle was still "a little swollen."
It's clear by watching him play that he hasn't fully recovered from his torn ACL yet, so this is as dominant as he's going to get all season long. However, while he might not be at 100 percent yet physically, his play has shown that he has no problem being the No. 2 option on a team with playoff aspirations.
The worst thing the Mavs can do to stop themselves from being swept by the Jazz this weekend is to rush back Luka Doncic.
It's clear that the Mavericks will only go as far as Doncic can take them, and they're in a deep hole without him. He's been more important than any player in the league since he entered it. He ranks first in usage percentage, meaning he uses up more of his team's possessions than anyone else in the NBA. And when he doesn't use up possessions putting up 28 points a night, he's putting on a show that has never been seen before: relentlessly finding players open in the corners, pulling off passes that no one else can even dream of making—and doing so with a gorgeous face and an ever-present smirk.
The Dallas Mavericks star returned to the court Saturday after straining his left calf in the regular-season finale, and came out swinging. He had 30 points and 10 rebounds in his 2022 playoff debut, a strong performance after missing nearly two weeks. It was exactly what the Mavs needed to stay in the game… even if they didn't quite finish it off.
"He's doing better, but again it's an injury that we have to be careful with," Carlisle said. "We'll see how the morning goes and what kind of work he can do."
Rudy Gobert gave Utah the lead with an alley-oop dunk with 11 seconds left, and the Jazz held off the Mavs 100-99 in Game 4 to tie the first-round series.