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Luka Doncic: Criticism of Luka Doncic mounting with each Mavericks loss in N...

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Published Time: 13.06.2024 - 09:13:44 Modified Time: 13.06.2024 - 09:13:44

But that’s irrelevant. The Mavs needed Doncic, who fouled out for just the third time in career, on the court, and he wasn’t. The Mavs were outscored 13-9 in those minutes without their All-NBA guard. Luka Doncic, luka dončić


But that’s irrelevant. The Mavs needed Doncic, who fouled out for just the third time in career, on the court, and he wasn’t. The Mavs were outscored 13-9 in those minutes without their All-NBA guard.

Criticism of Doncic, 25, is mounting with each Mavs loss in the Finals. They are down 3-0, and the Celtics can sweep the Mavs in Game 4 Friday (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst blasted Doncic, calling out his constant complaints the officiating, his defensive shortcomings and an "unacceptable" performance in Game 3.

Now, Doncic is battling injuries. He was on the Game 3 injury report with a bruised chest and had been on the previous playoff injury reports with a sprained knee and ankle soreness. He’s a major reason the Mavs beat three 50-win teams in the Western Conference playoffs to reach the Finals.

He's All-NBA for a reason. His offensive talent is undeniable. But in his first Finals appearance, he’s learning what a different game it is – what’s required possession to possession on both ends of the court in the Finals.

Doncic’s stats in the Finals look OK: 29.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 47.3% from the field and 32.1% on 3-pointers. The Mavs need him to produce an inordinate amount of offensive production.

Drill down deeper and his numbers in the fourth quarter – two of the three games have been close – are unsatisfactory. He’s averaging 2.7 points and shooting 20% from the field (3-for-15) and 0% on 3-pointers (0-for-4).

He’s not the first star to struggle in a Finals debut. But it exposed how much improvement his game needs in these circumstances.

His frustration at officials and his defense are known issues. They're just more noticeable at this level. With all their offensive options, the Celtics are targeting Doncic. Boston's personnel creates advantages all over the court against Dallas, and Doncic is struggling to defend. Sometimes, the effort isn't even there as Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday drive past him with little resistance.

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