NBA

Luka Doncic reportedly getting pain-killing injections to compete in the NBA Finals

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According to reports, Luka Doncic has been going the extra mile to compete in the NBA Finals, as source suggest that he’s been receiving pain-killing injections to numb the area of his thoracic contusion. First it was informed that he received one before Game 2, and now it seems he’s set for another before Game 3. 

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Malika Andrews were the first to report on the matter, despite the Slovenian not wanting to address his woes. “I feel good. I don’t want to give any more details, but I feel good,” said the superstar, who has been banged up throughout the playoffs.

The Western Conference Finals MVP has been leading Dallas during the postseason with averages of 29 points, 9.7 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.8 steals per contest. At this point, the Mavs are hoping this treatment will support Luka in climbing out of this 2-0 series hole against Boston.

During the championship series, Doncic has dropped in 9 of 21 shots (38.1%) from beyond the arc, while his teammates have only manage to score 5 of 32, which is 15.6%. This even includes co-star Kyrie Irving, who has missed all of his 8 attempts, even though Luka trusts that these shots will eventually start to fall.

“Just one thing: Keep shooting. We all believe in those shots,” the point guard expressed. “That’s how we came to the Finals. That’s how we played the whole season. We believe in those guys. Everybody believes. If you’re open, just keep shooting. You’re going to knock it down at some point.”

After Game 2, the Slovenian pointed out that it was easier to find his teammates. “They try to guard one-on-one. I think today they tried to help more,” he recalled. “I was able to get some teammates open.” And he was right, during the match he managed to attack the paint and create spaces for his teammates on rolls and cuts, handing out 11 assists that night.

Nevertheless, if shots don’t start to drop soon, they’ll be no chance for the Mavericks. There has been a definite shift in stats when it comes to shooting between the postseason and the Finals, as Dallas only gets 4.0 shots from the corner through two contests, while taking 27.5 above-the-break three-pointers.

The Mavericks squad agrees that they should keep shooting as they expect their luck to shift with the series heading to Dallas

During their playoff action leading to the NBA Finals, the Mavs dropped in 183 of 493 (37.1%) of their attempts. Despite their poor accuracy in two games against the Celtics, the team hopes their luck will change now that the series head to Dallas.

“I think it’s just taking good shots, taking open ones,” P.J. Washington expressed. “Obviously, we haven’t been making shots. We feel pretty good coming home. It’s all about just making open ones, taking open ones. We feel good about taking them, so I think guys are in good spirits.”

Teammate Josh Green agrees that the strategy should remain the same. “We’ve been shooting great throughout the playoffs. I think it’s an adjustment. A little bit of jitters in the first game. It’s one of those things now, it’s do or die,” he said. “We need to make those shots. That’s just how it is.”

The reality is, Doncic needs more help offensively, and open shots from the deep would be a great way to start. However, Luka will always have to reduce turnovers (as he came off 8 in Game 2), just as well as improve his shots from free throws.