Luka Doncic on his defense: 'I think this year I’ve really taken a big step'

Luka Doncic on his defense: 'I think this year I’ve really taken a big step'

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Luka Doncic on his defense: 'I think this year I’ve really taken a big step'

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Doncic in his fifth season quietly has transformed into a well-above-average defensive player. Dare we even pronounce him a good defender? “People are not going to admit it, but I think this year I’ve really taken a big step,” he said. “I don’t need people to believe; I believe in myself. I think I’ve been playing defense way better than the first four years and I think I’ve taken a huge step forward.”
Source: Brad Townsend @ Dallas Morning News

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Eric Koreen @ekoreen
The Raptors are short on healthy bodies, and about to play Luka Doncic. Why not simplify the defensive strategy? Nick Nurse has some good reasons. ($1/month for new subs)…10:38 AM
Michael Grange @michaelgrange
Juancho Hernangomez used to hang out with Luka Doncic in Madrid as teenagers. He’s filled with pride at how far his friend has come. Is his video game pal the best player in the world? “I can’t be objective, I love him so much …”…10:18 AM
Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
Mavs are 1-5 on road. Bad. They are 5-2 in games following a loss. Good. Theyve had issues when teams have been missing top players (TOR missing both Siakam & Barnes today). Bad. They have Luka. EXCELLENT. So? Mavs-TOR. @PeasRadio pre at 3:30 Tip w/Brad & me at 4:10 @971TheFreak9:46 AM
Eurohoops @Eurohoopsnet
Luka Doncic is an offensive beast, but don’t underestimate his improvements on the defensive end #NBA…6:48 AM
StatMuse @statmuse
Giannis tonight:
38 PTS
Only Luka has more 35/5/5 games this season. PM

Michael Grange @michaelgrange
“He did things different than the other kids,” Raptors forward Juancho Hernangomez didn’t know Mavs star Luka Doncic was on a fast track to being the world’s best player when they were hanging as teenagers in Madrid, but he knew his friend was special:…6:20 PM
Doug Smith @SmithRaps
Luka and Juancho, just a couple of teens hanging out…4:39 PM
Brad Townsend @townbrad
Numbers suggest Luka Doncic is now good defender; he says ‘I’ve taken a huge step forward’…3:26 PM
Brad Townsend @townbrad
Numbers suggest Luka Doncic is now good defender; he says ‘I’ve taken a huge step forward’…3:24 PM
Eric Koreen @ekoreen
Luka Doncic: Third in usage percentage, fourth in touches, first in time of possession (by 29 minutes!) and first in time per touch. – 2:50 PM
StatMuse @statmuse
Top 4:
Luka Doncic
Joel Embiid
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Anthony Davis
Guess the stat. PM

Dane Moore @DaneMooreNBA
The Wolves have sent Luka Garza, Josh Minott and AJ Lawson back to Iowa. But somewhat notably, Wendell Moore Jr. stays up with the NBA club — as guard/wing depth, with Jordan McLaughlin and Taurean Prince set to miss tonight’s game, and Kyle Anderson listed as questionable. – 10:38 AM
StatMuse @statmuse
Players to average 30/8/8 in a season:
— Oscar Robertson
— Michael Jordan
— Russell Westbrook
— Luka this season AM

More on this storyline

If not for Doncic fine-tuning his diet and body, his defensive uptick would not be possible, but it’s all attributable to a change in mindset this offseason, as he simultaneously trained for Slovenia’s World Cup-qualifying and EuroBasket runs and the 2022-23 NBA season. “The start of last season for me was very bad,” he said. “I was out of shape. It just wasn’t me. I didn’t play good. So I took that as a motivation for this season.” -via Dallas Morning News / November 26, 2022
With Doncic’s immense talent, some fans worry about him possibly leaving the team in search of a more suitable place for a championship run. However, the Slovenian superstar assures that it’s not going to happen, at least not in the upcoming years. “I don’t think they [should] worry about it. I have five years left here so I don’t think they should be worried about it,” the player told WFAA’s Joe Trahan in an interview. “That’s everything,” Luka said about wanting to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy with the Mavs. “Everybody wants to win the championship. I want to win the championship here. It’s our goal. It’s the same every season. It’s a lot of work to do. There are so many great teams in the league. Anybody can beat you at this point. You have to be really ready.” -via BasketNews / November 24, 2022
Tim Bontemps: Luka Doncic on playing against Jayson Tatum: “It’s always the best. He’s an amazing player. He’s top 10, in the MVP (conversation) … he’s shown he’s not a future face of the league, but he already is, & he’s an amazing player & it’s always fun to play with those kind of guys.” -via Twitter @TimBontemps / November 24, 2022

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