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Those Game 7s were a dud, but that doesn’t dilute the outstanding performances from the second round that deserve recognition

Image for article titled Those Game 7s were a dud, but that doesn’t dilute the outstanding performances from the second round that deserve recognition

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He has grown up so fast. A player who was fun to watch during his rookie season has, in year four, at the least met every expectation for him prior to coming into the NBA, and at best has become the league’s top perimeter player. When the Mavericks were struggling early in the year, it was Dončić who took a hard look in the mirror and decided to make some changes.

The Mavericks rode him, and eventually that Porziņģis trade, to a stunning turnaround 52-win season. His teammates held the fort down long enough for him to recover from injury in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz and he would proceed to likely finish off the Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell version of that team.

Then against the Suns, while it was an up and down series for him efficiency wise, he still made whatever play his team needed in their four victories against the team with the best record in the NBA. Whether it was setting up his teammates while they were on fire in Game 4 from the 3-point line, or leading the charge as the Mavericks blew the doors off of the Suns in both Game 6 and then incinerated them in Game 7. The final game was the best as it only took Dončić 19 shots to give the Suns their worst loss of the 2021-22 season. A deficit that climbed to over 40 points at times, and Dončić had the same score as the entire Suns team at halftime, 27 points.

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