For coaches, Luka Doncic is a headache on defense
Since Luka Doncic arrived in the NBA, he has had a lot of trouble finding the right defensive formula to contain him. After the discovery effect of his first season, the Mavericks’ star point guard remains a real nightmare for all opposing coaches. Major League technicians from Monty Williams to Chauncey Billups have spoken Athletic About a player who disgusts everyone in his path night after night.
“He gets into video sessions and discussions with the staff very late,” Suns coach Monty Williams
The first sentence is already very indicative of all the headaches caused by the Luka Doncic phenomenon. After a little more than two months of competition in the NBA this season, the blond head of the Balkans is at the top of the ranking in the race for the MVP trophy. And for good reason, his stats are absolutely insane: 34 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists. Exceptional matches, even a historic performance until the end of 2022.
Luka Magic is unstoppable for coaches. His ability to score very effectively in many areas of the game and to put his teammates on the bench and open the basket make him one of the most dangerous players on the NBA coaching staff.
“It’s a nightmare, we don’t have answers” – Darwin Ham, Lakers coach.
That’s why Lulu is a real headache to defend, especially since his multiple approaches to the game make him one of the most unpredictable players in the league. Pick and roll? Be careful, change on screen and your pivot will be on Dancing with the Stars without consent. Don’t forget that Christian Wood is often in the service screen, and so he’ll make short work of your appearance to defend Luke. Don’t change, then..? Donchik’s body structure allows him to create opportunities close to the basket. Impressive technique combined with a strong physique is what makes Monty Williams the most impressive.
“He’s doing a great job in his last days to find his teammates everywhere. I don’t know anyone like him in terms of technique and size.” – Monty Williams
There’s a bit of malice in that statement, isn’t there? It makes perfect sense, as the Phoenix coach just picked up one of the most egregious defense-related axes on the Mavericks’ 77: ability to distribute the ball. While many players struggle with the two-player game, Luke doesn’t care. Two defenders on one attacker means, after all, the guy is alone somewhere, and no matter how sharp the defensive rotations are, it’s hard not to see the skin immediately go to the exposed guy. We haven’t talked about his long-range game yet, but The Athletic
Finding the right formula for former Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy is simply impossible. Then stationed in New Orleans (2020-21 season), tactician Luke could only watch Magic shut down his team twice – Averaged 39.5 points over two games on the season despite numerous changes in defensive strategy.
“He blew us away, it just shows my choices weren’t good” – Stan Van Gundy
A few numbers? Synergy Sports reports that Luka Doncic is averaging 1.18 points per pick-and-roll attempt, with only Stephen Curry doing better this season. Besides, 80 times Lulu handed the ball to the big guy who served him a screen, the Mavs scored 125 points, or 1.56 points per shot worth two points. You have to understand the madness huh. His killer layups systematically lift defenders off the ground, then say hi to the pass and open driving lanes, open bar. Darwin Ham also talks about Donczyk’s offensive versatility.
“I can’t express it enough for people to understand how good he is. Without making a mistake, he puts a lot of pressure on him so that his defender cannot contain him. Trying to react to his pressure on the lone defender? You’re already overreacting and they’ve got an open three” – Darwin Ham
To counter this? Stan Van Gundy notes that some coaches are trying to force him to play right-handed so the prodigy is more comfortable hitting and passing. This puts him closer to the circle and therefore avoids one of his most lethal weapons, the famous three-point stepback., right Clippers? However, here again, one threat averted brings with it several other threats.
“He passes better with his right hand because he can do his hand hook link easier in the opposite corner. He also finishes better in his right hand. Some are trying to force him to play because they rule out the possibility of a three-pointer.” – Stan Van Gundy
The former Pels coach is even dismissive of the matter, as Doncic is one of those big players for him that there is no miracle recipe for wanting to contain. Awe is the dominant emotion when it comes time to draw conclusions.
“The thing is, nothing will work effectively. It always happens against big players. If you add up all of Doncic’s offensive power, I think he’s the best I’ve ever seen. He’s amazing” – Stan Van Gundy
But who are you really, Luka Doncic? Super saiyan? A messenger from the spirits of the orange ball? Anyway, what you’re doing in the NBA is absolutely insane. A level of performance that makes coaches tear their hair out as soon as Dallas appears on the schedule is extremely rare, if not extremely rare.
Source: The Athletic