Despite having lost their last two games, the Dallas Mavericks are just a half game behind the San Antonio Spurs for top spot in the Southwest Division. Superstar Luka Doncic has been playing at an MVP level, averaging 28 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists per game. Despite a triple-double against the Chicago Bulls, he puts the blame on himself for the 16-point loss.
The 36 points, 16 rebound, 15 assist effort was Luka Doncic’s 29th triple-double of his career, which broke a tie with Michael Jordan on the all-time triple-double-list. However, Doncic was less than pleased with, as he termed it “selfish” play in the second half after dropping 30 points by halftime. Luka Doncic, 21-year-old, noted that he played terrible in the second half, forcing shots that he wouldn’t normally take and perhaps got caught up in his own statistics.
However, looking at the situation, there wasn’t much else Luka Doncic could do, considering the team missed three starters and had only six rotational players. Examining the game, the Dallas Mavericks were down 15 despite Doncic’s 30. How far are they behind if Doncic doesn’t try to take over when his team is severely shorthanded? Luka Doncic claims the team needed more energy in the second half and his 2-for-12 shooting on forced shots didn’t help matters. Center Kristaps Porzingis noted that the whole team had to play better and find a way to get each other into the game and feed off each other’s energy. He has a point, but when down to such a limited roster, the star has to take over games, so for Doncic to put it all on his shoulders is utterly ridiculous.
Luka Doncic is now only the fourth player in NBA history to have post at least 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in a game. While the stats were spectacular, as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle admitted, the ultimate goal is to win games. The Dallas Mavericks have an extremely tough road over the next week. Despite what anyone, including Luka Doncic says, with a shorthanded roster and difficult road, Doncic will have to be a little selfish and carry the team. He may need more triple-double-performances in order for the Mavericks to come away with some victories.