With the exception of the blowout at the LA Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks haven’t arrived this season. This also applies to Luka Doncic, who has not yet found a rhythm. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle openly admits this, but is not worried about the Slovenian.
“I had tired legs today, but that shouldn’t be an excuse,” said Doncic after the blowout against Charlotte (99: 118), in which the Slovenian himself only scored 12 points (4/10 FG). The last time the All-Star posted so few points over a year ago against the Denver Nuggets, the game against Miami in December 2019, where he had to leave the field injured after two minutes, was excluded.
Even Rick Carlisle did not go unnoticed by Doncic’s difficulties in the first few games. “It is obvious that Luka has not yet found his rhythm,” said the coach, who is not worried about it. “He just needs a few games. He’s on the right track and I have no doubts about that.”
In the previous four games, the guard has put on 23.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists, but the throw in particular raises question marks. So far, Doncic has only hit two of his 21 attempts from a distance, against Charlotte even two airballs were there again. The Slovenian only scored two threesomes against the Clippers.
Doncic is hard on himself
That annoys the Mavs star, who admitted himself that he was not physically in top shape. The reason is the sudden early start of the season, which also ruined the plans of co-star Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian is still missing after his knee surgery, also because the Mavs didn’t expect the season to start before Christmas.
“I have to get a lot better,” Doncic criticized himself harshly. “I’m 21 years old and in my third year. I have to keep improving and work on my litter. If I do that, it will fall. That’s how I see it.”
The 21-year-old has already followed up his words with deeds. While Coach Carlisle was speaking to the press, Doncic was back on the court of the American Airlines Center and was busy taking throws.
Dallas Mavericks: The mission wasn’t there
But Doncic’s performance isn’t the Mav’s only problem. “It was a terrible evening,” said Carlisle. Charlotte hit 51 percent from the field, grabbed 12 more rebounds and literally led Dallas over three quarters.
“There can be no excuses for that,” complained Tim Hardaway Jr., who with 18 points (7/10 FG) was the only Mavs player who could hit throws alongside Maxi Kleber (12, 4/5 threes).
Kleber achieved all of his 12 points in the first quarter, setting his personal record. The same was true for his four threes in the section. But the Würzburg resident couldn’t buy anything for that, and in the end he was disappointed too: “They just played more physically than we did. We didn’t play today.”
With a balance of 1-3, the Mavs are currently 12th in the west, and the Miami Heat will travel to Texas on Saturday night.
Dallas Mavericks: The Coming Games
|02.01.2021||1 O ‘clock||Miami Heat||H|
|04.01.2021||2 O ‘clock||Chicago Bulls||A|
|05.01.2021||2 O ‘clock||Houston Rockets||A|
|07.01.2021||8 p.m.||Denver Nuggets||A|
|10.01.2021||2.30 a.m.||Orlando Magic||H|