It’s safe to say Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic took all the doubts and questions personally.
After leading the Mavs to the playoffs for the second straight year, Luka recalled the time earlier in the season when a lot of people lost faith and doubted the team’s ability to make the playoffs. To recall, Dallas fell to as low as 14th in the Western Conference after a 9-14 start to the season.
Sure enough, Dallas bounced back in a big way and are now headed to the playoffs after securing their spot with a win against the Toronto Raptors on Friday. However, Luka doesn’t forget.
“I remember that tough stretch when we were like in the 12th or 13th spot,” the Mavs star shared, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “Everybody had us out of the playoff, but now we’ve made the playoff and we’re going to have a couple of days off.
“That’s what we needed,” he added, referring to the break the Top 6 teams get as the Play-In Tournament is played.
The Mavs entered Friday needing only one win to avoid the play-in, and while they allowed the Raptors to claw their way back, they still got the job done. Luka Doncic was crucial for the Mavs once again, as he notched a triple-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
It remains to be seen where Dallas will end up in the standings, as they will need to win their final game of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves to secure the fifth seed in the West. Nonetheless, the Mavs faithful will certainly be happy wherever the team ends up win since they already assured the fans of some playoff basketball in the next few weeks.
Lesson learned for the critics and Mavs fans, though: never write off Luka and the Mavs ever again–even in the upcoming playoffs.