Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal Lauds Mavericks Superstar Luka Doncic for Playing Against the Clippers Despite Being Injured

Published 05/31/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes around LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second quarter in game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is one of the most talented young stars in the league. Playing only in his third year, Doncic is already touted as a Top-10 player in the league and is destined for greatness.

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After leading his team to a fifth seed in the Western Conference, the Mavs are playing the Clippers in a rematch of their 2020 Playoffs.

The 22-year-old has got off to a great start so far. Averaging 38 points, 9 assists, and 8.7 rebounds for the first 3 games, Luka had led the Mavs to a comfortable 2-1 lead in the series.

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Shaquille O’Neal lauds Luka Doncic for playing against the Clippers despite being injured

Going into the 4th game, Doncic’s fitness was questionable. Suffering from some niggling injuries, the Slovenian was a game time decision against the Clippers.

Despite being banged up, the 2-time All-Star battled through pain and stepped to the court against the Clippers. Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal certainly liked Luka’s commitment to the game.

In a recent appearance of NBA on TNT Shaq said, “As a fan, I know Luka, injury injuries and banged up and hurt. We appreciate you’re playing.”

Despite making a last-ditch effort to get on the floor, Doncic was clearly struggling in the game. While he was walking bucket in the first 3 games, the Slovenian uncharacteristically missed many shots and looked uncomfortable.

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With Luka struggling on the floor and starters like Tim Hardaway Jr. failing to step up, the Clippers came out all guns blazing and blew out the fifth seeded Mavericks 106-81.

With their latest loss, the Mavs are now tied in the series and face an uphill task of finding some much-needed momentum and take charge of the series.

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Coach Rick Carlisle and the Mavs will be bummed out that his team couldn’t win a single home game and instead are tied in the series. With Doncic struggling due to injuries, the Mavs are in a precarious position right now.

Will Doncic & Co. pull off yet another victory in the Staples Center or have the Clippers finally taken control of the series and are in a prime position to win?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1169 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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