There’s been a lot of magic at Disney World over the years, but nothing like the Luka Magic we’re all about to witness. I was confident pre-covid and I’m even more so now – the only team that can keep us out of the finals is the Clippers. Here’s all the reasons why:
Luka – anyone who’s seen Luka play so far knows he’s the goat-in-training. LeBron may be the perfect genetic masterpiece for basketball, but Luka is pretty close himself and he’s been groomed in an academy all his life to have the perfect basketball brain.
He’s also a gamer that will assuredly step it up a level in the playoffs just like he already has for every nationally televised game he’s played. We all know that Dak’s clutch gene was developed in playing huge ass SEC games as an 18yo starter. Well Luka started dominating huge ass Euro basketball championship games as an even younger teenager. He’s made for these moments and it’s obvious.
One worry I did have on Luka pre-covid is just how beaten up he was getting. He loves going hard to the rim and the refs were giving him the Cam Newton treatment every time. On top of that was tons of extracurricular treatment. There was the Draymond Green game as well as a bunch of bullshit like this on a regular basis.
He was noticeably breaking down from transcendent to just plain superstar level, which at the time was fine for me because he just turned 21. Now he’s fresh and the rest of the league (except maybe the Clippers) are fucked.
KP – Knicks fans will fight you on this til the day they die but they’re idiots. KP is awesome. He’s one of the best rim protectors in the game and that’s something we’ve never been competent at without Tyson Chandler. He was looking fully healthy right before covid stoppage, averaging a cool 22-10 and 2 blocks a game over the last two months.
He racked up all these points without utilizing the post game, which was his bread and butter in New York. Post play wasn’t in our offense in the regular season because it’s inefficient and more taxing on a players knees. The playoffs are a different game though, and I think we’ll see that activated more.
KP was able to spend his lockdown in Latvia, which was a sane country compared to the US so he had full access to facilities for basketball workouts (same with Luka). He came back ripped, rested, and fully healthy. The Unicorn may end up being the best Robin in NBA history.
Seth – Steph Curry is a better player than his brother I’ll admit, but Seth is low key the better three point shooter. He’s second all time at 44.3%. In the last two months of play, he was shooting 57.9% from the field and the same average from three. With Luka dishing him so many wide open looks, he is insanely deadly.
Depth – Tim Hardaway, Maxi Kleber, Delon Wright, Dorian Finney-Smith, JJ Barea, and shit maybe even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Not stars by any means, but a ton of role players capable of getting hot. We’re a deep team.
Coaching – Carlisle is the best coach in the league.
Road Record – the Mavs were 21-12 on the road pre-covid, significantly better than they were at home. In a tournament where every single game is a road game for both teams, that’s advantage Mavs for sure. Also, because half our team is international players, they’re used to playing in tournament environments like this. If any team has a ‘home court advantage’ this year, it’s definitely us.
Celibacy – as noted previously, the unique conditions of bubble isolation is a clear advantage for the Mavs.
Chemistry – in a tournament where many veterans will be looking forward to getting the fuck back home, the Mavs are having a blast as a team. They are fresh, hungry, and set up better than anyone to thrive in these unique conditions. The cultural foundation that Dirk built is still alive and well.
One of those teams that doesn’t want to be there is definitely houston, and that’s why I’m laying max bet on Mavs tonight.
I’ll end this with the #1 quote from the bubble so far, said by JJ Barea. “I’m not a gamer, I only really play video games with my son. However, I do play video games with Luka when he asks me, because he is my other son.” JJ Barea has made babies with two Miss Universes. Here’s a collage of them:
What a leader