Doncic reserves for the All-Star but the Mavs know how to win without him

The hot streak continues. The Mavericks, despite not having Luka Doncic for this game, beat the Thunder and continue to improve.


The presence of Luka Doncic as the main engine of the Mavericks has been praised, also from this space. Even in the worst moments of this season the Slovenian has made a difference: he has avoided major defeats and sustained his team to win matches almost on his own. It is a praise that has put him back in the race to be MVP despite the fact that he, by collective passivity, wanted to get out of the way. In the coronavirus streak, in which they were placed before the penultimate of the Western Conference, the looks went to the rest of the colleagues who were not doing their job well. In front of the Thunder and at the gates of the break, a fact has happened that makes the criticism have to turn into praise: Luka Doncic has rested and his team has not only won but has given a show when it comes to defending, continuing a good streak that already places them with five victories in the last six games, eight out of ten and within the top eight despite the mismatches in the calendar.

Men like Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway, also noted for their defensive problems, were the ones who shone the most in the home win against Oklahoma City, which only made one out of every three shots it tried. Little contribution from visitors in general and in particular saving Ty Jerome and Théo Maledon. Surprising perhaps Carlisle's rotation, playing only with Porzingis and indoor Kleber having more weapons. Only that the Mavs let go in the last three minutes of the game allowed the distance to drop below ten points, but the game was totally controlled by the Texans at all times. Great collective effort, also to leave the rival below eighty points scored. It is to look at the second part of the regular phase with much more optimism after having passed it fairly regularly in the first.

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