Luka Doncic, Mavericks Clinch 2020 NBA Playoff Spot After Spurs Beat Grizzlies

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 3, 2020

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic celebrates a three-pointer scored by Dallas Mavericks forward Boban Marjanovic, not pictured, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Dallas. Dallas won 130-111. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The playoff drought in Dallas is finally over. 

For the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Mavericks have clinched their spot in the postseason on Sunday, thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies' 108-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

We’ve got more work to do 💪 #MFFL #Clinched https://t.co/QApivCNGOy

After entering the league's hiatus on March 11 at 40-27, Dallas had eight games remaining in the regular season when the NBA restart began on July 30. Though they dropped their first game in Orlando on Friday, they are now headed to the postseason. 

That news was music to the ears of Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki:

Dirk Nowitzki @swish41

Mavs are back in the playoffs!!! Can’t wait. Let’s go!!!

In the era of Big Threes in the NBA, Dallas seemingly secured its playoff spot with just two key players, though it's hard to find another duo like Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The two helped torch the Southwest Division, where the Mavs are 10-4and helped set up the team for a title run. 

Even after Dwight Powell went on injured reserve and Doncic dealt with an ankle issue for the better part of the season, the Mavericks still comfortably held on to their playoff position following the All-Star break. That was also helped by minimal tinkering to the roster throughout the season. 

Dallas acquired Willie Cauley-Stein to fill in for Powell, and that was about all it took to solidify the roster. The supporting cast of Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson and JJ Barea proved more than enough to get the job done. 

Mostly that's because the walking triple-double that is Doncic (28.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.7 assists) and the offensive mismatch created by Porzingis (19.6 points and 9.6 rebounds) opened up enough space for the rest of the Mavs to operate with ease. 

Now they'll test their game plan—and their superstars—in the postseason.

Dallas hasn't advanced past the opening round since winning the title in 2010-11 as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. 

With Doncic and Porzingis leading the way, it seems like that streak is due to end sooner than later, as well.