If Luka Doncic Slows, L.A. Clippers Should Beat Dallas Mavericks

Share

This is a question that cropped up last season during the playoffs, and here we are once again. For a team that has the combined talents of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers should be playing much much better. So, why are they still not playing at a high level consistently?

Simply put, they have no answer for the dazzling array of skills, shots and playmaking ability of Luka Doncic. But on the basis of game four, the Clippers are learning from their mistakes when it comes to guarding the Mavs superstar.

For the first three games, they seemed reluctant to assign either George or Leonard to guard Luka Doncic. They tried everyone else, but it seemed to have no effect as the Slovenian scored from all sorts of ways and multiple positions on the court.

This strategy did not make any sense as the Clippers have two of the best defenders in the league. It allowed Luka Doncic to score 31, 39 and 44 points in the first three games of the series. In fact, it can be argued that the reason this series is still going, is only because Doncic didn’t get too much support Doncic from his teammates.

To the Clippers’ credit, they took advantage of the poor performances from the Mavs’ supporting cast and sealed a series-tying win. Another factor that might work in their favour is the fitness of Doncic, who is carrying an injury. Even if he emerges fully fit for Game 5, it remains to be seen how effective he can be.

Los Angeles Clippers logo donald sterling

Another reason for Los Angeles’ struggles has been the lack of service to their star duo. This is what happens when you don’t have a natural scorer that can keep the opposing defenders occupied. In hindsight, letting go of Lou Williams has been troubling the Clippers. With the responsibility of scoring firmly on George and Leonard, it is difficult for the duo to win every game on their own.

Either the Clippers need to start supporting their superstars more or they have to hope that Doncic has a couple more bad games. The former is much more of an attainable goal, and it is what they should focus on.

la-clippers-donald-sterling-doc-rivers

The next game will be the decisive one and if the Clippers win, it should help them seal the series. Even a player as great as Luka Doncic won’t be able to turn the series without more help from players around him.

Speak Your Mind