Luka Doncic got off to a slower than expected start this season, but the Mavericks guard has more than turned things around, looking like his All-Star self in recent weeks.
Doncic missed a 10-game stretch at the back end of 2021 due to ankle soreness and COVID-19 but since the turn of the new year, it’s been a different story.
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After missing out on a starting berth in the All-Star Game, Doncic focused on getting his body right and taking care of his nutrition, something Mavs owner Mark Cuban says kicked the Slovenian into gear.
“I think he was humbled a little bit,” Cuban told 96.7 The Ticket regarding Doncic not being voted a starter.
“I think he didn’t like being called out for his weight and other things, and it finally clicked that there’s a level of discipline that’s required.“
Across his last 15 games, Doncic is averaging 32.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 9.2 assists on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 41.5 percent from the 3-point line — a stretch that includes three 40-point games and a season-high 51 points against the Clippers just prior to the All-Star break.
As they continue to push for home-court advantage in the Western Conference, tonight they pulled off a signature win on the road in Golden State, coming back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Warriors 107-101.
The Warriors had won 62 consecutive games when they led by at least 20 points, however, the Mavericks found their rhythm in the fourth quarter, reeling off a 26-1 run to flip the game on its head.
Recently acquired guard Spencer Dinwiddie turned in his best performance as a Maverick, scoring 10 of his 24 points in the final frame, while Doncic finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“He’s a baller. That’s how I’m going to describe him,” Doncic said of Dinwiddie postgame.
DINWIDDIE IS THAT DUDE pic.twitter.com/Qhnx3xmAIX
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) February 28, 2022
The Mavs made a big move at the trade deadline, sending big man Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Davis Bertans and Dinwiddie, with the point guard making an immediate impact in Dallas.
Sure, it’s a small sample size, but with Dinwiddie on the floor, the Mavericks bost an offensive rating of 118.1 points per 100 possessions, giving them another ball-handler and shot-creator to take the pressure off Doncic, forming a lethal three-guard lineup alongside Jalen Brunson.
With Doncic playing some of the best basketball of his career in recent weeks and Dinwiddie’s addition to the rotation, the Mavericks are kicking into gear at the right time, now sitting just 2.5 games back of the Utah Jazz for the No. 4 seed.