Luka Dončić wouldn’t be the only superstar to get swept. He would just be the latest.
The Dallas Mavericks are on the brink of elimination when they take the floor against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, sitting in an 0-3 hole in the Western Conference finals.
And as usual, all eyes are on Dončić and whether he can help his franchise avoid a disappointing ouster.
Playoff sweeps for superstars are not uncommon. In fact, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets were swept in the first round of this postseason by the Boston Celtics.
Michael Jordan was swept by the Celtics twice, though only in five-game series (he was never swept in a seven-game series).
LeBron James and Magic Johnson have been swept twice, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar three times, and Shaquille O’Neal a whopping six times.
So, would a sweep be a huge knock on Dončić?
Skip Bayless said it’s certainly a bad look for the Mavs’ young superstar, mainly because in the second round of the playoffs, Memphis defeated Golden State even without their rising superstar Ja Morant.
“I’m not even seeing a competitive series with Luka and company. Why is that? … A team without Ja Morant, its best player, for the last three games, took Golden State to the wire in a Game 6 that came very close to forcing a Game 7?”
Even though G.S. closed Memphis out in six games, and won Game 6 by 14, the Grizzlies led by two with 6:55 left to go in the fourth quarter of that game.
However, Memphis was the second seed in the Western Conference, while Dallas is the sixth seed and upset the top-seeded Phoenix Suns to even advance to the West finals — and it’s mainly because of Dončić.
Dallas’ only All-Star is averaging 32.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 13 games this postseason.
That, combined with the fact that Jordan, James and others have all tasted a sweeping defeat, is why Shannon Sharpe said losing in four won’t have any impact on Dončić’s stock.
“The greatest of the greats have been swept. … What we’ve done is that unless you win the title — Jordan got swept early. Jordan never lost in the Finals. So it was OK for Jordan to get swept as long as he never lost in the Finals. What kinda logic is that?”
Dončić has already joined multiple historical lists featuring the game’s most iconic names.
And if he loses on Tuesday, he’ll join them on another list — one that has to do with brooms.
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