Once again, the Dallas Mavs surprised the Clippers on their home floor, securing a critical 105-100 win behind another magnificent performance from Luka Doncic. The 22-year-old Slovenian wunderkind finished the game with 42 points, 14 assists, and 8 rebounds, showcasing why he is already one of the best players in the NBA. Unfortunately, the Clippers failed to have an answer for Doncic once again and make proper adjustments which are essential if there is any chance they win this series.
After the game on the show Inside the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal offered the solution for the Clippers by also shading some disappointment in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Both are considered great perimeter defenders, but none of them could slow down Doncic, and constantly switching on him is the main reason he is so successful against them in this series. Shaq thinks they should stop switching and fight through screens, always having the best defender on him no matter what happens.
You can’t continue to let the guy torture you at home with these points. I thought Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were premiere defenders. You might have to go to old-school basketball and get over the screens. Luka is smart. He is dribbling and says I want Patrick Beverley, switch. He is calling these people out, and once he gets rolling, it doesn’t matter who you got because he is already hot.Shaquille O’Neal, via NBA on TNT
Kenny Smith disagreed with Shaq making a reasonable case that at one point, you have to double great players and turn them into playmakers. Making other players score is a strategy that sometimes works; however, if other players get going, then you in a lot of trouble. Shaq also shared his admiration for Luka, saying he is toying with the Clippers all series long, making all types of shots while talking trash.
You can’t have the nicest player on the court have a rhythm taking 37 shots. He is shooting fadeaways, calling people out, catching alley-oop lobs, and laying them up.Shaquille O’Neal, via NBA on TNT
It will be interesting to see if the Clippers make proper adjustments heading into the crucial game six in Dallas. They are regarded as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but so far, they looked terrible, and constantly switching on Luka didn’t do them any good. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will have to take the primary responsibility in slowing down Doncic and potentially force game 7.