‘Got to Stop Taking These Bad Shots’: Luka Doncic Takes Blame For Mavericks Defeat to Phoenix Suns

Published 12/24/2020, 5:00 AM EST
Aug 23, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (77) reacts after being called for a foul against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff gameat AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


The 2011 NBA Champions, Dallas Mavericks, had the most efficient offense in NBA history this past season, led by the Luka Doncic. But what stopped them from becoming anything more than a Playoff team was not just their almost non-existent defense, but their inability to step up in the crucial moments.

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They seemed to have addressed their defense in this offseason. It was evident with Josh Richardson having Devin Booker in the back of his pocket for the majority of the game against the Phoenix Suns. However, their premier point guard, Chris Paul, could only muster 8 points.

What went wrong for the Mavericks?

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Dallas Mavericks and clutch moments. Last season, these two were averse to each other like oil and water. And this continued in their opening loss, too, when Doncic missed a crucial shot in the closing stages.

Shooting woes continue for Luka Doncic

For a player who could do virtually anything in the paint, it is frustrating to watch Doncic struggle from the outside. Not that he can’t take a 3-point shot like Ben Simmons. Rather, it simply does not live up to the MVP standards that Luka has set for himself.

Dec 23, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns center Deaandre Ayton (22) in the second half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

He went 0-6 from the 3-point range in the season opener, including missing a wide-open shot in the dying seconds. Had he made the ‘clutch shot’, it would have leveled the game. And speaking after the game, he was willing to take full responsibility for his team’s loss.

“I’ve got to stop taking these very bad shots. It wasn’t just the last one, but it was a couple of them. It’s not good for me, it’s not good for the team and I’ve got to change it.”

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What next for Luka Doncic and the Mavericks?

The games come thick and fast in the NBA. So there is no time to dwell, just expect to do better next time. Next up for the Mavericks is a daunting trip to the Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dec 23, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) defends against Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) in the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The defending champions are themselves coming off a loss to their bitter rivals. So, there won’t be any lack of motivation from either side. Perhaps it is an opportunity for Luka to get over his and Maverick’s clutch demon once and for all.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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