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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks game preview

NBA: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It was ubiquitous during the Mike D’Antoni era.

“You cannot win a title when your offense is centered around one player going one-on-one.”

“Guys can’t be expected to make big shots in the fourth quarter when they have barely touched the ball all game.”

“In the playoffs, the refs swallow their whistles and those foul calls become play-on.”

While those statements rang true during James Harden’s run as heliocentric talisman in Houston, they haven’t been heard at all during Luka Doncic’s meteoric rise to superstardom.

I’m convinced that at least in terms of foundation, then-Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Stephen Silas copied Mike D’Antoni’s system. It worked, and turned Silas into an “offensive genius” and top coaching candidate. Unfortunately, Silas hasn’t had the same level of success with Houston’s offense since coming over.

However, this is really about Doncic. He’s on an incredible run right now. He’s averaging a 50-point triple double over his past five games. He’s the presumptive MVP, and he’s got the Mavericks rolling as the hottest team in the NBA. They’re just three games back of Denver for the best record in the Western Conference. And with the West looking devoid of any true contenders, Dallas looks primed to stroll into the Finals. Alas, he doesn’t have the Kevin Durant Era Warriors to topple like Houston did. Some guys get all the luck.

If Doncic is able to take D’Antoni’s heliocentric offense and win a title, it will be yet another win for MDA that he didn’t get to experience himself. The dude really does belong in the Hall of Fame for revolutionizing NBA offense on two separate occasions.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest