Luka Dončić put on another brilliant display in a win against the Orlando Magic in which he engraved 30 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists. The win against the Magic came two days after Luka dropped 27 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in a win over the Brooklyn Nets, so it doesn’t surprise that the Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is impressed with Luka’s performances.
“You’re constantly talking to players about not jumping in the air and making decisions. This guy defies a lot of logic when it comes to conventional coaching theories, and that’s why we give him the ball and let him go.”Rick Carlisle, via Callie Caplan
Even Carlisle had to acknowledge Luka’s brilliance, despite his old-school way of coaching. Carlisle is a coach who is especially tough on his point guards, and he usually isn’t a fan of his point guards experimenting in the role. Dictate the tempo, run the spread pick and roll offense and control the game; that’s what he would usually love to see. On top of that, Carlisle doesn’t have a track record of giving young players the benefit of the doubt.
But with Luka, that’s different. Carlisle is a smart coach who recognized Luka’s talent in his rookie year and decided to run the game through him. Dončić has been the most used player in Dallas since he was drafted in 2018. This season Dončić is second in usage rate with 34.9%, behind only Bradley Beal with 35.0%. Of course, the Slovenian guard is still playful on the court. He sometimes takes bad shots and loves to overdo it at times. But at the end of the day, Luka is one of the best players in the league and the future of the Mavs organization. This year he’s ranked 6th in scoring (28.6 points), 19th in rebounding (8.4), and 4th in assists (9.0).
Despite Luka’s level of play, the Mavs are underachieving this season. That’s the reason why the Porzingis trade rumors started. We’ll see if the Mavs want to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but for sure, Luka will need some more help this season and in the future.