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“I’m slow. That’s probably the problem” — Luka Doncic responds to Charles Barkley suggesting the Dallas Mavericks have to play faster

Luka Doncic is a wizard in the halfcourt, but he agrees with Charles Barkley that the Dallas Mavericks have to play faster.
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and TNT analyst Charles Barkley

Luka Doncic and Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley believes the Dallas Mavericks need to play at a faster pace, and he may have a point. During a segment of "Inside the NBA" on Tuesday, he brought up the matter to Luka Doncic.

"I think you guys need to play at a faster pace," the Hall of Famer said. "Because when y'all walk the ball up and down the court, it makes it a one-on-one game for you. Do you guys think y'all need to play at a much faster pace?"

"I'm slow"

The Mavs star apparently agrees with Barkley's assertion. And he knows why his team can't pick up the pace that easily.

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"Yeah, we have," Doncic responded. "But, you know, I'm slow. That's probably the problem why we play slower. But I think you're right - we gotta get our outlets early and then play with better pace."

While the Slovenian playmaker is one of the most unstoppable players today, he has become known for being slow. He even acknowledged the perception and once laughed at it.

Even so, his methodical game has proven effective, as evidenced by his average of 33.1 points on a 50.4% shooting clip this season.

Should the Mavs play faster?

As Barkley alluded to, Dallas is actually the slowest team in the Association. They currently rank last in pace with 95.6, which measures the approximate number of possessions per 48 minutes. To provide a comparison, the Golden State Warriors are the fastest in the league, with a pace factor of 102.71.

The problem with playing slow is that it gives the opponents more time to set up on defense. While Doncic is an elite shot-creator and floor general in the halfcourt, relying on him too much might not be sustainable in the long run.

Maybe the signing of Kemba Walker can allow the Mavs to play faster, especially when Doncic is taking a breather on the bench. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff makes some adjustments anytime soon. Jason Kidd and company might not have that much choice, as Dallas ranks No. 10 in the Western Conference, and changes could be in order.

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