International Hoops

Luka Doncic drops his Still DRE game in Mavs win

Luka Doncic was like Spanoulis for the Dallas Mavericks as the Mavs took a 3-2 lead over the OKC Thunder in the NBA playoffs.

Luka Doncic remembered what he loved about basketball right when the Mavs needed it. With a triple double, he led the Dallas Mavericks into a 3-2 lead over the OKC Thunder in the NBA playoffs

This was the game where Luka Doncic remembered that Vassilis Spanoulis is his inspiration. The Mavs star was relaxed and dominant in a performance that reminded us all just who he is.

A reminder to the doubters

The days, both of them, between Games 4 and 5 were full of essentially one topic. What on earth was going on with Luka Doncic? Throughout this series between the Dallas Mavericks and the OKC Thunder, heโ€™d not been in a good mood.

The talk, both from pundits and fans, was about him complaining too much. The Mavs star was far too worried about the refs. He was complaining about calls. It was not exactly a display full of joy.

Doncic reminded everyone in the NBA who he was in Game 5. His triple double was also his most efficient display of the postseason so far. Most notably, Doncic went 5 of 11 from deep despite having horrid issues with the three ball up to now. It was one of his misses however that showed the full extent of his confidence. A logo three attempt rimmed out barely but that Doncic felt comfortable rather than desperate just going for it was a positive sign.

Representing one gangsta in style

The story is well-written. Luka Doncic wears 77 because his idol, Vassilis Spanoulis, wore 7. Spanoulis was the most feared man in elimination games in Europe throughout his career. Late in a game and itโ€™s close, the ball would inevitably end up in his hands. More often than not, Spanoulis found a way.

Crucially, despite having a fiery sense to him, Spanoulis let it all be about basketball. He never let himself get overly distracted by the other pieces. Thatโ€™s what we saw in Game 5. Doncic was playing as though the OKC Thunder just happened to be there. While free throws were in short supply for most of the Mavs, although not Luka, there was little complaining. He just got to work.

This is the version of Doncic the Mavericks need. While a deep NBA playoff run was always in this side, itโ€™s not one built to stroll to sweeps. Their superstar putting up big numbers is nice. Whatโ€™s most important is their superstar just balling out.

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