The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a 128-78 blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Luka Doncic finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists through three quarters, but also racked up another technical foul.
On today’s Mavs Donuts, we tough on the Mavericks clinching home-court advantage, the win over the Trail Blazers, Doncic’s 16th tech, and much, much more.
Donut 1: Mavs Blow Out ‘Tank’ Blazers
The Dallas Mavericks secured home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs with a smashing of the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. Dallas handed the Blazers, who are heading towards the lottery and playing young players to finish out the year, their 10th-straight defeat.
The victory was the Mavs’ 51st win of the season, totaling the most regular-season wins since the 2011 season.
Donut 2: Mavs Clinch Home-Court Advantage
For the first time since their 2011 NBA Finals run, the Mavericks will have home-court advantage in a playoff series. The lowest they will finish in the Western Conference standings is fourth, but the possibility still remains of moving into third ahead of the Golden State Warriors.
“It means a lot,” Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith said. “We’ll get the energy from the city and from the fans. We got back to 50 wins, and I’m excited about that. I feel like whoever we play (in the playoffs) we’re going to be excited and ready to play, so it doesn’t matter.”
Donut 3: Luka Doncic Reaches Technical Foul Limit
After being whistled for a technical foul at the end of the first quarter of the Mavericks’ win over the Trail Blazers, Doncic reached the NBA’s single-season limit (16) — resulting in an automatic one-game suspension.
Unless an appeal is won, Doncic will be unable to play in the Mavericks’ regular-season finale on Sunday with the possibility of the third seed on the line.
Donut 4: Doncic Speaks on Receiving Tech
As mentioned above, if Doncic’s technical foul is not rescinded, he will be suspended for the Mavericks’ regular-season finale against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
“I got a technical asking ‘how is that not a foul’ … that’s it,” Doncic said. “If you ask me, I think 100 percent it should be rescinded because it wasn’t a tech. No warning, no nothing. I was just asking.”
Donut 5: Tony Brothers Explains His Decision
After the Mavericks’ win over the Trail Blazers, referee Tony Brothers explained to reporters why he called Doncic for the technical foul at the end of the first quarter.
“At the end of the quarter he took a shot and he felt he got fouled,” Brothers said. “He started to complain to each of the officials. When I was walking toward the table, he was fifteen feet in the backcourt still complaining so he got a technical for continuously complaining.”
Donut 6: Jason Kidd Sees Silver Lining in Potential Suspension
While Doncic may not be able to play on Sunday, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd sees the extra rest as being beneficial.
“If the league doesn’t take it back, then that was his last game of the season,” Kidd said. “So get some rest and get ready for the playoffs. Most likely, it doesn’t get overturned and we move forward.”
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“I think he would enjoy that, for sure.”
Donut 7: Doncic Sees His Defense as Significantly Improved
The Mavericks went from being a bottom ten defensive team last season to ranking within the top ten. A key factor has been the buy-in from the players.
“Seriously, I think my defense improved a lot this year,” he said. “I think I improved a lot. It’s a team defense. They help me a lot. When we talk, our defense is great. And most of the time, I see everything, so when I talk the team defense is even better.”
Donut 8: Maxi Kleber is ‘Close’ to Return
The Mavericks have been without Maxi Kleber for each of their previous three games as a result of ankle soreness. He is progressing in his recovery and might be able to participate in the regular-season finale on Sunday.
“He’s close,” Kidd said. “Hopefully he can play Sunday . . . It’s up to him and how he feels. But he does feel good. Two more days will be helpful. But he’s doing great, feels great, looks great.”
Donut 9: Boban Marjanovic Gets Some Run
With the Mavericks holding such a significant lead over the Trail Blazers, Kidd cleared out the bench in the fourth quarter. Fan-favorite Boban Marjanovic saw the floor for just the fourth time since the NBA All-Star break. The AAC crowd went wild as Marjanovic threw down a big dunk off a feed from Davis Bertans.
“I thought that third group was incredible in the fourth quarter — to hold an NBA team to nine points,” Kidd said. “Boban (Marjanovic) and those guys — Trey (Burke) — played the whole quarter.
“It just shows that they had themselves ready to play and I thought they did a great job in tonight’s game.”
Donut 10: Warriors Face Spurs
The Warriors will take on the Spurs on Saturday in a matchup that holds legitimate playoff implications for both teams … and the Mavericks as well. Golden State holds a 51-29 record entering Saturday’s game, just a half-game ahead of the 51-30 Mavericks.
Both teams will be short-handed in Saturday’s matchup. The Warriors will be without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and James Wiseman. As for the Spurs, they will be without Doug McDermott, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Most Improved Player candidate Dejounte Murray.
Dallas needs to beat San Antonio in its season finale while also having Golden State go 1-1 in its last two games in order to secure the third seed in the West.
Donut 11: Another Utah Jazz Collapse
The Utah Jazz have made a habit of blowing double-figure second-half leads as the playoffs approach. On Friday, they led the Phoenix Suns by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, but ended the night with a 111-105 loss. Being that the Mavs have been the best clutch team in the league since trading Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie, perhaps Utah should be Dallas’ preferred first-round matchup.
Donut 12: More Talk of Trade Rumors for Jazz
Instead of showing excitement about potentially pulling off a lengthy playoff run, there’s been more talk about trade rumors surrounding the Jazz.
“There’s a lot of teams and a lot of people that would love for us to break apart,” Gobert said in an interview with ESPN. “They would love to get a Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell in their team and there’s a lot of bigger markets who would love to get that and we are aware of that.”
Dallas has been rumored to be one of the teams interested in trading for Gobert if the Jazz do decide to break up their roster this summer. Could he be the missing piece to push the Mavs over the top? Dallas might have to go through Gobert in the playoffs first before we get to that point.