The Dallas Mavericks star’s endless talent awaits a 3-0 defeat to Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors. Reaching the NBA Finals is an almost impossible dream that he still hasn’t given up on.
The Warriors’ away win (100-109) is a deadly blow to the Western Conference Finals. The strongest team in the NBA gave another choral recital for a fabulous individual performance by Luka Doncic, who scored another 40 points. The championship dynasty of the past decade showed its DNA and is one step away from the NBA Finals. On the disappointed side, Luka Doncic is still smiling. When things go wrong, “smiling gives me hope,” he declared before the meeting. Winning the next four games seems like an almost impossible mission and Luka’s dream is gone. “I’m still learning,” he accepted the defeat. No one expected him to be in the playoffs at this point. There is at least one game left to admire a game that makes it a unique gem.
The last decade of the NBA was marked by the explosion of the triple as the primary weapon in all coaches’ notebooks. The Houston Rockets projected their stat calculations until they shot more than three points and the Golden State narrowed the field with Stephen Curry, the first player to become a nearly unstoppable threat from over 30 yards. The new world talents, especially the smaller ones, incorporated long range into their shooting sessions. In an NBA increasingly triple-playing and with almost inhuman physiques, Luka Doncic dominates the courts with his ability to develop a more relaxed style with unusual skills. I mean, talented.
Its boundaries lie outside the known galaxy. His physical potential has not yet reached a ceiling and his imagination on a job is limitless. A ball, rivals, pressure… are the perfect ingredients to challenge a hard-to-classify prodigy. The player who does everything right, the one who likes to face adversity with a smile. Why do you dominate the NBA? What makes you so special? These are some of the keys that make Luka Doncic the total player.
Few players of Doncic’s stature can dominate the ball with the ease that characterizes him. A coordination that catapulted him from an early age and which he polished to excellence at Real Madrid. He is responsible for raising the ball and generating the first advantages of the Mavs attack. In two-to-two situations, he tends to pause the rhythm and his first glance is to read the song. Look for imbalances in a few tenths of a second and execute them with ease. It generates the first benefits thanks to the boot and braking power comparable only to that of James Harden. The changes in direction are overwhelming and despite his weight he never loses his balance.
Once he has won the first space, be it a precise dribbling sequence or a block from a teammate, he tends to use his body wisely. He puts his hip in front of him like a shield and moves the ball away from his already defeated primary defender. That’s where the magic begins. Go to the basket, where he is one of the statistical leaders in both number of entries and points scored and even in percentage of success. When the rival defensive aid arrives or a change of pair is made, his intelligence on the court makes him unique, he is the king of imbalance. Punishing the little ones in the low post with his body and footwork, making tougher defenders dizzy with dribbling… he has resources for all tastes.
Seeing that a teammate is better than the opponent leads to changes in defense. The pieces on the board are moved to compensate for a breakout situation. This is where Doncic’s decision-making comes in. If he is stopped in his penetration or in low post situations they jump for him, he has found his own positions, generally open to the triple or willing to play in continuations above the rim. He feeds the team with ease, he is the creator. When he’s on the field, more than 50% of the Mavs’ assists come from his hands.
The pass is an art without secrets for Luka, which flows without stopping, in motion. Whether it’s jumping to find corners, pumping balls to the most bouncy balls, throwing counters or spinning like a genius in situations where he’s cornered by defenses. Losing balls is a toll the Mavs have to pay, but the returns are priceless. A player with such high use of the ball in any possession lives with the foul and it does not limit him in his next action. The multiplier effect of his view of the game is to keep his teammates connected, who have an obligation to be ready to receive the ball at any time. If they are alone, Luka will find them.
He has a broad, strong body, which was overweight in the preseason and weighed around 120 pounds, according to ESPN. An ankle injury and Covid slowed his condition. At the end of February, it was leaked in the US that he had already lost seven kilos and the further the competition progresses, the better the tone he shows. It is estimated that there are now around 108. Can it be improved? Of course, although perhaps the most important in this aspect is your overall well-being. Doncic has already stated that he is not a top athlete and in this game intelligence takes precedence over athletics. Of course, with his physique squeezed to the max, it’s not known what his size would be. His technical virtues taken to the max with an extra agility in his movements would make him even more untenable. Meanwhile, he shows strength to fight under planks, he is agile, coordinated and with deadly brakes. He doesn’t wrinkle for anyone. Of course it suffers in defense against more electric and lighter pairs.
Seeing him make progress on a job always brings surprises. It’s unpredictable. It senses the biorhythm of its defenders and when given the space it rises to fire mercilessly. Able to fire from any part of the field, he stands out for several favored positions from which he often punishes his rivals. The step back and to the side, opening a meter away to his opponents, has created a school. A throw of the game whose incidence makes him particularly valuable to his team. He reaches firing ranges over eight meters that open the range for his teammates. And when he comes under pressure, he goes all the way to the kitchen. He also absorbs information quickly and gracefully replicates Nowitzki’s one-legged shot.
A neat mechanic in which he shoots high, masterfully mastering his jumping balance, whether jumping in a perfectly vertical plane or falling backwards where he is nearly impossible to block. Once executed, defenses can only pray it fails. Likewise, he gets good percentages all over with his body and a falling half turn to create space. Scoring from the boat with that ease is not within the reach of many.
His real market value is not just statistical, where he is no longer surprising with 32.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per night in the playoffs. He brings unequivocal leadership and despite having kneaded the ball so well, the Mavs have mobilized themselves to bolster his strengths and focus the defense’s attention on him as best they can. In Dallas, there are no superstars to accompany him, but there are a handful of warriors of remarkable talent who want to support him to the very end. The Mavs are having a good time with him. They enjoy. They laugh. Find the balance between relaxation and team involvement. Whoever has the most fun usually wins the games. If not, ask Stephen Curry.
Luka Doncic faces a sublime team led by Curry and with an alter ego responsible for destroying his progress. Draymond Green, the defending soul of the Warriors, was responsible for mobilizing the jumble of help to nullify the Slovenian star’s benefits and reduce the Mavs. The stakes are on the Warriors’ side, but when all seems to be lost, it’s time for magic. Enjoy Luka, if only once.
Source: La Verdad