The Mavs Are Going To Need Everything From Luck To A Heavy Dose Of Luka Magic If They Want To Keep Their Season Alive

Tom Pennington. Getty Images.

Life while being down 0-3 certainly is not what I would call ideal. NBA history is most definitely not on your side seeing as how no team has ever come back from down 0-3 to win a series. In fact, of the 146 3-0 series we've ever seen, 90 of them were completed in 4 games. Of that total, teams are 24-0 in the Conference Finals. It's not great. But if you're looking for some positives as a Mavs fan, a total of 42 of the 146 forced a Game 5 before they lost the series. It drops drastically from there with only 11 of these series being finished in 6 games and only 3 being finished in 7 games.

The immediate issue you have to fight is the urge to just pack it in and get ready for your vacation. Considering no team has ever pulled off a 0-3 comeback, it's just human nature to start thinking about the beach. The bad news is not everyone is coached by Doc Rivers who will allow you back in a series and these Warriors are most certainly not the Sixers. Facing such a daunting task against such a devastating opponent like the Warriors can be overwhelming. The quit factor is real. If you get off to a bad start, who could blame the Mavs for saying fuck it and focusing on the offseason. 


But that really hasn't been who the Mavs are this entire year. Luka doesn't quit. He can win a singular game by himself if he needs to, we've seen it. What we're learning though is that the Mavs need to help this man if they want to win a game in this series. Luka's holding up his end of the bargain, he's averaging 34/7.7/5.0 on 45/41% splits with 4.0 3PM a night. Look at that percentage from three! He has back to back 40 pieces. The issue in this series and the key to them avoiding the sweep tonight is getting production from other guys not named Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie. 

When you're playing a team as deep as GS who can kill you with 4-5 guys and who are getting great contribution from their role players, you need to match that, especially at home. You can't survive against that type of talent when stuff like this is happening

Reggie Bullock: 30/33%

Dorian Finney-Smith: 42/41%

Davis Bertans: 30/12%

Maxi Kleber: 14/14%

In Game 3 alone, Kleber and Bullock combined to shoot 0-15 (0-12). Getting 0 total points from two big minute rotations players is how you find yourself in an 0-3 hole. It's also likely they do not do that shit again in Game 4.

That's what I would be putting my stock into as a Mavs fan. It took that type of hole just to loseby 9 points while Steph went 50/50% and made 5 3PM. They got a massive Wiggins performance as well. Once you get into this spot, it's about winning each possession, and then each quarter, and then the game. If you can take care of Game 4, perhaps Luka goes nuclear and you steal Game 5. Then maybe the Warriors start to feel the heat. It's certainly possible, but to get there they NEED their role players to ya know, actually make a basket.

What makes playing the Warriors so tough no matter what point of a series you're in, is the fact that you basically have to be perfect. You can't have anything that comes close to resembling a mental lapse. You blink and the Dubs have put up 10 points before you even know what happens. They are the hardest team to beat once they get a lead because of their shot making ability and their defense, but then there's the reality that no double digit lead is safe. I'd say a solid 65% of how you beat the Warriors is simply praying, and then the other 35% is basketball related.

Part of the Mavs issue though isn't just shot making, it's roster construction. They're too small. The Suns showed us that in spurts, but the Warriors are making it abundantly clear. Kevon Looney looks like Wilt against this front line, and the boards have been a problem all playoffs long


This can be what happens when your only true big is Dwight Powell, and your other size would much rather live outside the three point line. Dallas is 15th in REB at just 36 a night and dead last in OREB. The Warriors are 5th at 44.5 and are 5th in OREB as well. If the Mavs have a rough shooting night, there is no second or third chance. They are most likely one and done. It's hard to win in a series if you cannot control the glass. 

It seems pretty basic, but the path to the Mavs keeping this series alive is pretty simple. They need Luka to be Luka which I think you can bank on, and they just need their role players to not miss every shot they take while collectively the entire roster commits to the glass. I don't think those are crazy asks, as long as they are able to fight the quit factor. 

As a fan with no rooting interest, I just want as many of these playoff games as possible. I want competitive games as long as my favorite team isn't the one blowing someone out. The Mavs have shown the ability to punch back earlier in this postseason, I'm just hoping we see that same fight again tonight. Give me all the Luka Magic that exists and let's get this to at least a Game 5. Then maybe Adam Silver will assign Scott Foster to extend the series and we'll really be cooking.

Then again, Steph smells blood and that's usually a problem.