Luka Doncic’s progress this year has not gone as planned. With everyone healthy, new coaching staff, and team executives, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to make a big leap from their performance last year. However, a quick look at the stats reveals that Doncic’s game regressed so badly in one area that he now ranks among the lowest in one category.
Doncic ranks 150th out of 153 in 3-point percentage
Luka’s 3-point shooting is becoming a problem. His 29.7% is good for 150th place in a list of 153 eligible entries. That means bad news for Mavericks fans. Consider the players ahead of him: Loonie Walker, Nassir Little, and John Collins. As a 2-time All-NBA First Team member, a 2-time All-Star starter, and former Rookie of the Year, it’s surprising his game regressed in this area.
Luka was never in the prestigious 40% mark from behind the arc, but at below 30%, it’s the lowest in his NBA career. What’s more alarming is that he is attempting eight 3-points per game. With such low accuracy, you’d expect the coaching staff to deal with this earlier in the season.
Doncic should improve 3-point percentage if he wants to win MVP
Doncic needs to improve his 3-point accuracy if he wants to win the MVP or help the Mavs win the title. Out of the last five MVP winners, only Giannis Antetokounmpo shot lower than 29.7% from the rainbow territory. It happened in the 2018-19 season, where he connected only on 25.6% of his 3-point shots. However, Giannis was only attempting 2.8 per game. Only Russell Westbrook’s 3-point attempts came close to Luka’s. In the 2016-17 season, Brodie attempted 7.2 three-pointers per game and made 34.2% of those shots.
Luka is attempting eight 3-point shots per game but connects below 30%, which means most of the time, they are bad attempts and low-percentage shots. He probably should do away with contested 3-point jumper or fade-aways: they look incredible if Doncic makes them, but if not, it drags not only his efficiency down but also hurt his team’s chances.
The Slovenian handles the ball majority of the time in Dallas, which means he is often attempting unassisted 3s or off the dribble ones. Doncic is a phenomenal player who can create his own shots, but when it’s not falling, he should change his ways and attack the rim.
Luka is a great player who can get away with bad shots and bad games since he can bounce back the next game and deliver an MVP-level performance but is he mature enough to change his game? Can the coaches call him out without fear of creating tensions in the team? We’ll get the answer to this question in the Playoffs.