Luka Doncic wins league-MVP, but Mavs lose in the first-round of postseason again
It is really too early to predict awards and whatnot, but if there is one player I had to pick to win the league-MVP award for the 2021-22 season, it would be Luka Doncic because of the potential he has for this upcoming season. He is coming off a year in which he averaged very similar numbers to that of Nikola Jokic, who won the MVP award last year, and he is going to be the sole reason why the Dallas Mavericks are as good as they will be.
This team is not going to be the best team in the Western Conference and they may not end up as a Top-4 team in the conference, but they will be making the playoffs and Doncic will be the reason they do. If you take him off this team right now, we would be talking about the Mavericks being a borderline playoff team that would likely be picking in the lottery in the 2022 NBA Draft, which is why he is already one of the most valuable players in the entire league.
You could make the argument about a ton of other players in this league, much like the discussion was for Stephen Curry last year in the MVP-race, but Doncic has a chance to have a historic statistical season, which is why he is an early favorite to win the MVP honors for this upcoming season. If Luka averages a triple-double for the season, he will win the MVP award for the 2021-22 season, but just because he may win this award does not mean the Mavs will be successful in the playoffs.
Seeing as the Lakers are “the team to beat” in the Western Conference, as well as the Jazz, Suns, Clippers and Warriors all being top-tier teams at full strength, it is hard to see the Mavericks making it out of the first-round of the playoffs unless they add another high-level talent to their team.
Kristaps Porzingis just is not the same All-Star player he was earlier in his career and Tim Hardaway Jr. is a good player, but he is not a great player that can make an All-Star-level difference for his team. Luka Doncic is the only real “star” player on this roster and against other teams in the Western Conference with multiple All-Star talents, it is hard to see Dallas being able to take down one of these teams in the first-round.
Who knows, maybe they will advance past the first-round, but again, they just do not have the firepower to match up with some of the better teams in the league, which is why they are not a true contender yet. But, with Luka Doncic as their young leader, the Mavericks are not going anywhere anytime soon in terms of falling off and in time, they will be once again competing for another title.