LA Clippers: Comeback vs. Dallas scarred Mavericks organization

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle reacts to a call during the first half in game seven of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle reacts to a call during the first half in game seven of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

When the LA Clippers came back from being down two games to none vs. the Dallas Mavericks, it was clear that the Mavericks needed to make some adjustments to their team.

The home team lost each game of the series until the Clippers won Game 7. After the Mavs were up 2-0, they had three home games to win two, while the Clippers had two home games to win four.

The first two games went so well for Dallas, with Luka Doncic taking his game to even another level, Tim Hardaway Jr. continuing to be a Clipper killer, the Clippers struggling on defense despite Rajon Rondo calling the Mavs’ plays, and much more. Since then, however, the organization has been falling apart.

Recent changes in the Mavericks organization suggest that the LA Clippers demoralized Dallas.

Everything was going right for the Mavericks early in that series vs. the LA Clippers. If anything, it looked like the Clippers were going to be the team to move on from leadership in the organization.

However, on Wednesday, the Mavericks ended up parting ways with their General Manager, Donnie Nelson.

Nelson was the Mavs’ president since 2005, and had been with the franchise for 24 years.

He was regarded as a pretty well-respected General Manager overall, but the Clippers exposed some of his shortcomings.

In 2018, when Nelson made a trade with the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, he looked like a genius.

Fast forward to the first round playoff series vs. the Clippers this year, however, and the Porzingis trade now looks like it should have never happened. He really struggled in the series, and it made the Mavericks very one dimensional when they weren’t shooting well. It turned into the Luka Doncic show, and that’s too much to put on the shoulders of just one player.

The Mavs traded a lot for Porzingis, including two future first round picks.

Of course Nelson has had great moments in Dallas as well, though. Nelson made a lot of key moves that contributed to beating a budding dynasty in the 2010-2011 Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

He also made a trade to acquire Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft. Doncic did feel a bit of an attachment to Nelson because of that, and wasn’t very happy about the move. Doncic has known Nelson since he was a kid, and said that it was “tough” to see what happened.

The Mavericks claim that they “mutually parted ways” with each other, but many seem to think that Nelson was essentially fired.

The drama over in Dallas didn’t just stop with Nelson, however, but extended to longtime Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle, who told Mavs Owner Mark Cuban that he won’t be back next year.

Carlisle had been the Mavericks Head Coach for 13 years, where he too won that 2011 Finals. He finished in Dallas with a 555-478 win-loss record.

He won the Coach of the Year Award with the Detroit Pistons, he went to the playoffs in 14 of his 19 seasons as a head coach in this league, and is the winningest coach in Mavericks history.

These are some huge shake-ups to the Mavericks organization. They were flying high after the first two games of their playoff series vs. the Clippers, and are now drastically changing as a franchise.

Many expect Doncic to sign a five-year/$201.5 million extension this offseason. He has that as an option because he made the All-NBA Team twice now. Doncic is still expected to sign it, but with all this change, nothing feels guaranteed.

Also, Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly frustrated in Dallas. He and Doncic aren’t close, and it’s been reported that Porzingis isn’t thrilled about his role on the team, and thinks he should be featured more.

The issue is that it’s also been reported that his trade value is very low due to his injury history, cost, and diminishing production.

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Winning cures a lot, and the Mavericks couldn’t get it done in the playoffs this year. The Clippers unmasked many issues going on in the Dallas Mavericks organization after their comeback against them.