Damian Lillard’s Long Pause Seems to Throw Shade on Luka Doncic’s ‘Most Talked Weakness’: “It Depends on How…”

Published 04/01/2023, 12:30 PM EDT

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Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic is a generational talent without a doubt. The Dallas Mavericks point guard is among the best players in the modern-day NBA. However, there is one aspect of his game that holds him back from being hailed as one of the greatest in the league. Recently, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard seemed to take a subtle dig at Doncic’s glorified weakness at the very onset of an interview.

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Although just 24 years old, Doncic is an MVP-level player already. He has been the backbone of the Mavericks for years now, following his selection in the 2018 NBA draft. However, his defense has been a persistent point of discussion among fans and the media alike. In fact, several talking heads have proclaimed Doncic as a defensive liability.

Damian Lillard seems to throw shade at Luka Doncic’s glorified weakness

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Damian Lillard was recently on the Dan Patrick Show, where he talked about the importance of playing defense in the NBA. At the very beginning of the interview, Patrick pointed out that nobody plays defense in the NBA anymore. Lillard replied that it does seem like the popular opinion in the NBA world. However, it is not the case when you actually step on the court, as the defensive style of play is still very prominent.

The 7x NBA All-Star added, “It’ll be hard for a lot of people to get something done.” Proceeding in the same line of questioning, Luka Doncic’s name was brought up by the host.

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He asked Lillard, “Do you think I can score on Luka?” Although he replied with “probably not”, Dame Dolla took a very long pause before answering whether a 66-year-old Patrick can score on one of the greatest NBA talents of All-Time.

Patrick picked up on the pause and said that Lillard giving it any thought might mean that he is not sure of Doncic’s defensive game. The 32-year-old tried to backtrack on his subtle dig at Luka’s defense, saying, “It depends on how much effort he was willing to put into it.” 

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The 4x NBA All-Star has always faced this criticism for not being a good defensive player. Even Dan Patrick said on the show, Luka doesn’t play defense.”

Luka Doncic Gets Struck With “Worst” Humiliation That Makes Mavericks Fans Fume

Is defense an actual issue for the Mavericks?

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The Dallas Mavericks are currently 11th on the Western Conference League table. The team is pretty much out of the playoff picture and their statistics show that poor defense is one of the main reasons behind it. They recently lost their last game against the Philadelphia 76ers by 116-106. Notably, they had a lead of 12 points over the 76ers, but their defense failed to safeguard their chances. Counting their last loss, the Mavs have now lost 13 games after managing to procure a lead in double digits.

Watch This Story: Breaking 35-Year-Old Record, $207 Million Star Luka Doncic Joins Michael Jordan Following Historic NBA Performance

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Written by:

Prateek Singh

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Prateek Singh is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He fell in love with basketball after witnessing the late great Kobe Bryant lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2009 and 2010 NBA Championships. A huge Kobe fan, covering the NBA for a living was a no-brainer for Prateek.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder

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