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Luka Doncic is arguably the most impressive scorer in the NBA. While his offensive ability is the elite of the elite, his defense is the low of the low.
When the Dallas Mavericks traded away Dorian Finney-Smith, their best defender, more pressure was put on Doncic to cause more stops on the defensive end of the floor. That hasn’t happened, and the Mavericks are now five games below .500 and losers of seven of their last eight games.
The Mavs’ frustrations are officially starting to show, and Doncic knows that his team’s defensive effort has put them in the hole Dallas currently finds itself in.
“I don’t think offense is the problem,” Doncic said after practice on Tuesday. “I’ve always said this. It’s our defensive end. I think anybody can score on us. Whoever it is, anybody can score on us.”
The Mavericks rank 15th in the NBA in points allowed per game (113.8) but that clearly doesn’t paint the picture of how poor they’ve been defensively.
While some may take Doncic’s comments in a way that he’s throwing his teammates under the bus, he owned up to his own lack of effort on the defensive end.
Well, sort of.
He admitted that he’s too tired to play really hard on both ends, which translates to ‘I don’t have energy to care about playing defense.’
“I’ve been playing basketball for three straight years — four weeks in between it was free,” Doncic explained. “Sometimes it’s really hard for me to play really hard on both ends. But obviously, the defensive end I gotta be way better.”
This admission from Doncic certainly won’t help silence the critics that believe he’s not in good enough shape to play at a high level in an 82-game regular season and beyond.
As things stand right now it looks like 82 games is all Dallas is going to get this year as the Mavs are sitting on the outside looking in on the playoffs with three games left on the calendar.
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Not a huge NBA fan but was invited to Lakers v Mavs a couple of weeks back. Doncic rests on defense. He has to Guy could probably use two straight months away from basketball.
The Texas Triangle (SA, DAL, HOU) used to be brutal for other teams. This year it is a joke.