Shaquille O’Neal & Dwyane Wade Shockingly Exclude Luka Doncic in Their Western Conference All-Star Lineup

Published 02/18/2021, 1:07 AM EST
Feb 4, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Doncic is arguably one of the best young players. The 21-year-old Slovenian has been the star player in a Dallas Mavericks side, which has seen a major drop this season with an overall record of 13 wins and 15 losses.

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Doncic has been in electrifying form, however. He is the fifth top scorer in the league scoring 29.1 points per game and has shown an all-round game so far this season with an average of 9.4 assists per game, the second-highest in the NBA this season. He has also grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game.

His dazzling form has seen him become one of the leading guards in the upcoming All-star game. Luka has amassed a massive 2,484,552 votes and is the second most-voted for guard in the conference behind Steph Curry and is set to become a starter.

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But former players Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade seem to disagree with the fans. In a recent episode of NBA on TNT, the former Miami Heat teammates chose their starters for the All-Star game.

For the Western Conference starters, both Wade and Shaq chose Damian Lillard over Doncic as the backcourt partner for Steph Curry. Wade even had a third guard in the lineup in the form of Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell. Lillard does make a strong case for being a starter as he has led his team to a winning record despite their multiple injuries.

The inclusion of Mitchell is a real head-scratcher. While Mitchell might be in a team with the best record, Doncic has been averaging insane numbers, and his exclusion from the list was shocking.

Why have the Mavericks struggled despite amazing performances by Luka Doncic?

The Dallas Mavericks were one of the top teams in the NBA last season. They had the best offense in the league. They were a top 10 team in three-point shooting with shot creators like Seth Curry and Luka Doncic, who created multiple opportunities for everyone around them.

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That hasn’t been the case so far this season. The Mavs decided to trade Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers and brought in Josh Richardson instead. Richardson might be a good option for them defensively, but lacks the qualities Curry provided to the side.

Feb 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) celebrates with guard Luka Doncic (77) and guard Jalen Brunson (13) during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Without much three-point shooting in the roster, the Mavs have slipped to 25th in the league in three-point efficiency and are down to the 10th spot in offensive rating. Even Doncic who is averaging monstrous numbers has been inefficient in his scoring. He has a three-point percentage of 33.5% which is below the league average.

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If the 21-year-old prodigy can improve his shooting, he will be in a better place offensively and will be able to help his team’s overall performance on the offensive end.

The slow start that their other superstar, Kristaps Porzingis, has had also hasn’t helped their cause. The Mavs are finally finding some form with a resurgence in form for Porzingis. They have won four of their last five and might become much better in the near future.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1262 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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