NBA Playoffs: Inside the Luka Doncic vs Kawhi Leonard Matchup

Saturday, 13 April 2024 at 22:54
doncic mavs leonard clippers
With the NBA season winding down and only two more games left before the NBA season, the only confirmed matchup so far for the Western Conference playoffs is between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers. It is still to be determined, on which one of these two teams will get the home-court advantage when they matchup.  
This is a matchup that we are very familiar to as in the last five years they have met up two times in the playoffs with the Clippers winning both times. However, this time around Luka Doncic and the Mavericks hope to turn things around and finally beat the Clippers in the playoffs.  
This matchup is definitely shaping up to be another classic between these two teams and it has prompt us to look at the history of the Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard rivalry in the playoffs.

Luka Doncic's Playoff History 

Luka has been to the playoffs three times in his career and this will mark his fourth appearance. His first two playoff appearances were first round exits coming at the hands of the Clippers both times. Finally, in 2022 he got past the first round and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals were they ended up loosing to the champions that year being the Golden State Warriors.
Last year, they unfortunately didn't make it to the playoffs, but this year they are back and are hoping to make a deep playoff run and possibly win the title.  
In all three appearances that Luka has had in the playoffs he has been unstoppable averaging 32.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.9 assist, 1.5 steals, and shooting 47% from the field and 37% from three. He even led the whole playoffs in scoring one year to go along with that. Still only 25 years old and with his running mate of Kyrie Irving, they are hoping this is the year they can make it to the finals.  

Kawhi Leonard's Playoff History 

Every year it seems like the same thing with Kawhi Leonard and that is, is he going to be healthy in the playoffs? That is the same question this year with only two games remaining, he has missed the last seven games for the Clippers, and hasn't played since March 29th. With the matchup against the Mavericks in the postseason, the Clippers are going to need Kawhi's defensive ability to try and slow down Luka and the Mavericks.
However, when he is healthy he is a problem in the playoffs with his resume doing the talking for him. He has won two championships and he has two finals MVP awards to go along with that. He has averaged 21.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.8 steals, and shooting a staggering 51% from the field and 40% from three.
He isn't the scoring threat Luka is in the playoffs, but it is his 2-way ability that makes him very dangerous. The Clippers will need a healthy Kawhi to get pass the Mavericks for a third time in the playoffs.

Luka vs Kawhi's Playoff Matchup History 

Luka and Kawhi have played a total of 13 games against each other in the playoffs with Kawhi having a record of 8-5 against him. Every time they matchup in a series it has been special with both of them going back and forth, making big plays to try and win the game.
This is something fans can't wait to see happen again when they face off for a third time.  
Luka Doncic stats against the Clippers, he has averaged 33.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and shooting 49% from the field and 39% from three.
Kawhi Leonard stats against the Mavericks, he has averaged 32.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 steals, and shooting 57% from the field and 36% from three.
This is a playoff series that people can't wait to watch, and it is shaping up to be another all-time classic. With six future hall of fame candidates for this matchup in: Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, James harden, Paul George, Luka Doncic, and Kyrie Irving. With that being said, we all can't wait and find out if Luka and the Mavericks can finally beat the Clippers, or will the Clippers make it three straight against the Mavericks.