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Luka Doncic makes unexpected change that could lead Mavericks to Finals

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The Dallas Mavericks sucked the momentum out of Paycom Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the OKC Thunder, as the Mavericks won a near wire-to-wire contest by a score of 104-92.

Dallas’ defensive rotations continued to serve as a stronghold as has been the case throughout the entirety of these playoffs so far, as the likes of Derrick Jones Jr., Dereck Lively II, and Josh Green played stellar defense in multiple scenarios.

Perhaps the most important factor in Dallas taking a commanding 3-2 series lead though, was none other than the fact that Luka Doncic had an extremely dynamic performance.

Luka Doncic’s mindset change could lead Mavericks to Finals

In 41 minutes of action, Doncic finished with 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds on 12-22 field goals made and attempted in the game.

Doncic opened up Dallas’ offense through his dribble-drive game as well as his 3-point shotmaking in the first half, then he proceeded to pick apart the Thunder’s defense with some ridiculous passes throughout the second and third quarter. Everything about Doncic’s game was clicking in Game 5, as he looked to push the pace in transition for Dallas in multiple instances and moved his feet well on defense, almost as if he wasn’t experiencing any pain despite fighting through multiple injuries recently.

Doncic obviously had a serious demeanor and approach to this game as he has all series, but he even exhibited a fun nature throughout this contest, as he was often smiling and having a good time within the flow of the game. Doncic’s performance and attitude on the court can be attributed to a shift in mentality, as he cited as much in a postgame interview with Jared Greenberg.

This shift in mindset from Doncic was crucial in playing more freely in Game 5 versus the Thunder, as having multiple injuries at once can certainly prove to be just as strangling mentally as it is physically. Doncic’s injuries haven’t made things easier for him in these playoffs whatsoever, as he’s dealing with a half-recovered sprained knee, a sore achilles, a back injury, and a sprained ankle.

Doncic reportedly would be out for a minimum of two weeks if this were the regular season, making his Game 5 performance and mindset shift seemingly even more remarkable when you take into consideration just how much his pain has contributed to some of his recent playoff woes.

Hopefully Doncic can continue to remain this poised both mentally and physically as the Mavericks continue further in these playoffs, as the Mavericks will need it if they want to find success in the Western Conference Finals or even the NBA Finals, something that could be on the Mavericks’ horizon sooner rather than later if they can take care of business against the Thunder in Game 6 on Saturday back home in Dallas.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic throughout 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned as we will have you covered with the latest.

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