Mavericks Star Finally Cops to Having Major Issue

Luka Doncic Mavs-Nets

Getty Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic sits on the bench during a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

During the national broadcast of the Dallas Mavericks-Brooklyn Nets affair on Tuesday night, Mavs star Luka Doncic was the subject of criticism from TNT’s commentary crew. For his part, Reggie Miller noted that Doncic was was “plodding up and down the court.”

Miller further opined that Luka “has got to trim down.” Turns out, this wasn’t just idle chatter from the Hall of Fame sharpshooter. As relayed by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Doncic later admitted that he’s behind the game as relates to his weight and conditioning.

“People are going to talk about it, yes or no,” said Doncic. “I know I’ve got to do better.”

After a late-ending NBA season, Doncic immediately joined the Slovenian national team and set off for the Tokyo Games. As he sees it, the recovery period that came after that marathon run may have been taken to an extreme. And now he’s suffering the consequences.

“I had a long summer,” said Doncic. “I had the Olympics, took three weeks off, and I relaxed a little bit. Maybe too much. I’ve just got to get back on track.”


Doncic’s Conditioning (or Lack Thereof) Has Caused Problems


#Greeny reacts to Luka Doncic's comments on his conditioningGreeny reacts to Luka Doncic's comments on his off-season and his conditioning. ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoNBAonESPN ✔️ Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: es.pn/YouTubeTV2021-12-08T16:56:43Z

According to ESPN, Doncic reported to training camp at a weight in excess of 260 pounds for the second straight year. For the record, his listed weight is 230 pounds. That suboptimal conditioning has had real consequences in the early season for the Mavs star and his team.

Currently, Doncic is logging a 25.5-8.5-7.9 line, which is just about what fans have come to expect from their team’s MVP candidate. However, his effective field goal percentage of 50.7 is his lowest mark since his rookie campaign. He has also been a net negative on the court this season.

As of this writing, Dallas is getting outscored by 6.8 points per 100 possessions when Doncic is on the floor. When he has been off the floor, the team is 5.3 points/100 poss. positive.

Luka has struggled with injuries in the early going, too. A sprained left knee and ankle caused him to miss three games in mid-November, in addition to Saturday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. More recently, the Mavs listed him as having a sprained left thumb as well.

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Mavs Need to Get More Quality Wins: Analyst

Over the weekend, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley put out a piece on the flaw that each NBA team needs to fix “before it’s too late.” Rather than point to something schematic or roster-related for the Mavericks, he opined that the club simply needs to start showing up for games against elite competition.

Wrote Buckley:

One of the hallmarks of good teams is winning the games they should. The Mavs have aced that test and downed nine of the 10 teams they’ve faced with losing records.

However, a staple of great, contender-level clubs is being able to hang with and knock off this league’s elite competition. That’s where Dallas’ credentials come up short.

The Mavs have gone just 2-8 against teams with .500-plus records.

For the record, Dallas has gone 0-2 against teams with winning records since that was written.

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