Thunder’s cocky approach to guarding Luka Doncic could come back to bite them

Later today, the Dallas Mavericks open up their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. The Thunder are not necessarily an easy matchup for Dallas considering they’re the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and have one of the best players in the NBA in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but the Mavs are also playing at a high level and hit their stride at the right time in their series against the LA Clippers.

2024 NBA Playoffs | Thunder-Mavericks Preview & Predictions! 🔮

Kyrie Irving took over the game in the second half of Game 6 to help earn Dallas the win, and the Mavs are well prepared to try to upset the red-hot Thunder.

Thunder using Luka Dort to defend Luka Doncic could come back to bite them

While Luka Doncic isn’t playing as well as we’re used to and struggled some against the Clippers, this couple of days of rest could have been huge for him in preparation to play the Thunder. Doncic’s knee still seems to be bothering him, and these extra rest days that Dallas earned through winning in six games rather than seven hopefully allowed Doncic to recover properly.

While Doncic still remains one of the best players in the NBA even while he’s struggling, the Thunder seem pretty confident in their approach to guarding him throughout their second-round series.

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said “just make sure that Lu (Dort) is on time for the game,” when talking about defending Doncic, and Daigneault’s bold approach to guarding Luka could come back to bite them.

Daigneault coming out and saying right away that Dort is going to be Doncic’s primary defender isn’t bad as anyone who has watched Oklahoma City could expect that to be the matchup, but he seems a little too confident going into this series when it comes to guarding Doncic.

In two games that Doncic played against Dort this season, he scored 20 points and dished out nine assists while shooting 8-14 from the field and 4-8 from downtown. Doncic’s big scoring numbers were only in 11:44 matchup minutes and 62.7 partial possessions, and it doesn’t seem like Dort did particularly well while guarding Doncic this year.

Dort has been excellent defensively this season and has the strength and foot speed to stay with Doncic, but there isn’t anyone in the NBA who can fully shut down Doncic. Luka will find a way to score regardless of who is guarding him, and that will be no different against Oklahoma City.

Daigneault being so direct and seemingly confident about their game plan of guarding Doncic shows how much he believes in Dort and the rest of his team, but Doncic may silence all the Dort chatter in this series.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks throughout their second-round matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Related Posts

NBA Insider Says LeBron James Is Unlikely To Get Involved In Lakers Coaching Search

After firing former coach Darin Ham, the Lakers are already hard at work narrowing down the candidates for his replacement. According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, LeBron James…

Warriors labelled best fit should 14x All-Star wish to be traded again

The Golden State Warriors-Kevin Durant reunion speculation continues to brew despite no indication from the 14x All-Star that he’s looking to move from the Phoenix Suns. Regardless,…

Mavericks forward pulled off epic troll job against Clippers amid heated series

The Dallas Mavericks knocked off the LA Clippers in six games in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs to advance to the second round to…

Rich Paul Talks LeBron James’ Future as Lakers Head to Pivotal Summer

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul hinted at how many NBA seasons are left for his top client and close friend LeBron James as the Los Angeles Lakers head to a pivotal…

Lakers’ LeBron James drops honest review of Warriors’ Draymond Green’s ‘biggest asset’

The Golden State Warriors may not have reached the playoffs this season, but they still have one of great core – headed by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Lakers…

Ex-Boston Celtics center shares shocking reason he wants LeBron James to retire

Former Boston Celtics center-turned-ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins shared his belief on the May 6 edition of ESPN’s First Take that LeBron James needs to retire this offseason because continuing to…