Brian Windhorst discussing Luka Doncic's "unacceptable" Game 3 performance Photo Credit: ESPN

The Dallas Mavericks dropped Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to the Boston Celtics to go down 3-0 in the series. And after the fact, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had some incredibly harsh criticisms for Mavericks star Luka Dončić for his efforts in the game, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

The Mavericks were in position to steal the game down the stretch in the fourth quarter, trailing by just three points with just under five minutes left in the game.

Things began to go downhill when Dončić, who had four fouls at the time, picked up two straight fouls in the span of under a minute of game time, fouling out of the game in the process.

Even Dončić would likely admit after the fact that you simply have to have more awareness in that situation to try and avoid this kind of costly sixth foul.

Regardless, the Celtics would go on to win the game and put the Mavericks in a situation that no other team in NBA history has overcome, a 3-0 deficit in the NBA finals.

After the final buzzer, Windhorst spoke about the game on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, immediately tearing into both Luka’s effort defensively and his propensity to argue with the officials — in a nearly two-minute rant.

“I thought that it was perfect that Luka fell onto the ground there in an unacceptable position to put himself in with four minutes left and five fouls,” said Windhorst. “And then immediately looks over at the bench and says ‘You better bleeping challenge it’. As if it’s the bench’s fault that he just made a terrible play. I’m standing here in the Mavericks tunnel. Over there is the Celtics tunnel. That’s where the winners are. If Luka is ever gonna be a winner coming out of this tunnel here, he is gonna have to use what happened in this Finals as a learning experience.

“His defensive performance is unacceptable. He is a hole on the court. The Celtics are attacking him. They are ahead in this series because they have attacked him defensively. And you’ve got a situation here where is complaining about the officiating. They have begged him, they have talked with him, they have pleaded with him. He is costing his team because of how he is treating the officials.”

Windhorst even continued on to claim that Dončić is the reason why the Mavericks will not win the series.

“He does so many things well,” Windhorst added. “They are here because of how he did. His performance in this game is unacceptable, and the reason the Mavericks are not gonna win. He has gotta get over this. And the fact that he came out after the game and blamed the officials showed me he is nowhere close yet. So maybe over the summer, somebody will get to him. Because nobody with the Mavericks or anybody else in his life has. That’s where the Mavericks are at this point. They are never going to get to this tunnel with the trophy if he doesn’t improve those aspects of his game.”

It’s about as harsh of a criticism that Windhorst has even given for any player. Even Scott Van Pelt was shocked at just how hard Windhorst went after Dončić here.

For Windhorst to say that Dončić, who is averaging 29.7 points per game in the series thus far, is the reason why the Mavericks are going to lose this is a bit absurd.

But there are some very valid complaints from Windhorst here. He was not the only person to call out his defensive effort in this game, as Doris Burke also critiqued the defensive effort of Dončić on the broadcast of Wednesday’s game.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.