Watching Luka Grow

Luka Doncic has proved that he has the potential to be an elite player in his first two seasons, and now he looks to continue to build on becoming an all-time great in Year 3. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Since Luka Doncic showed up to the NBA two years ago, Dallas has became a household name again. Luka has proved that he’s a superstar and basketball fanatics have him as one of the favorites for NBA MVP this year. Luka isn’t your average point guard, standing at 6’7, 230 pounds and moves like a deer up and down the court with timely shots and key passes from anywhere on the court. In this article, I will break down Dallas’ young superstar’s game in 3 steps: assists/turn over ration, shot selection and trusting his team. This is how he could get better as a leader of the Dallas Mavericks.

Assists/Turnover Ratio
Points guards are measured by this stat. At the time of this article, Luka is averaging 6.3 assists a game which has him in the Top 10 in the NBA in this category. On the flip side he’s averaging 3 turnovers a game. One might think that his assists are better than his turnovers and that’s true. The turnovers happen when he’s over dribbling the ball late into the shot clock and forcing passes to unsuspecting team mates hoisting shots out of their comfort zone. Great point guards are familiar with setting up their team mates for easy baskets, not making passes late into the shot clock. Simple passes will make things much easier for his team mates to convert easy baskets.

Shot Selection
Luka can score from anywhere on the floor. Watching him take some unauthorized shots early in the shot clock hurts the team. I believe a player should have the ultimate confidence on the offensive end. Luka has to allow board coverage when he takes unorthodox shots on the wing. He’s shooting 43.8% from the field. He’s a shot first point guard that has the green light to do whatever he wants to do. As a point guard he has to put his shooting and passing in the flow first instead of trying to create his on shot.

Trusting His Team
When you’re the face of the franchise, you’re not only the star; you have to incorporate your team mates as well. Shooting Guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. is averaging 14 points a game with 1.5 assists and 0.5 turn overs a game. Luka has to recognize that some games he’s not hot and stop forcing himself into bad decisions. Small Forward Josh Richardson is averaging 13 points per game, but his only taking 8 shots a game. I’m using these two guys as examples on knowing your team mates and not allowing the bright lights to tarnish his game. Last year, key players carried this team while Luka spent heavy time on the bench in the NBA bubble.

Greater is Coming
Simplifying his game will make him dynamic. Kobe Bryant coming into the league created a buzz, but he had to learn to be a superstar. He had the talent, but had to learn how to incorporate his team. Great players have to learn their craft for championships, playoff runs and individual accolades. Remember, Luka is just starting his third season and there’s tremendous upside to his game. I’m a fan, but sometimes I just shake my head and think, “What is he doing?” Then I remember it’s just growing pains.