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Dallas Mavericks: Why Luka Doncic struggles in the fourth quarter

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is having a phenomenal second NBA season, but his numbers dip significantly in the fourth quarter. Here is why.

The Dallas Mavericks did not expect Luka Doncic to be an MVP candidate in his second NBA season. Nobody did. Mavs GM Donnie Nelson traded two first round picks to get him. Even he did not dream of Luka becoming one of the best players in basketball as a 21-year-old.

Doncic is still improving. This year, he committed to attacking the basket more. It has increased his field goal percentage and overall efficiency. Luka also worked on finishing with his left hand to give him one more trick in his bag. The key may have been improving his conditioning to withstand the NBA grind.

Doncic was incredible in his second season. He won Player of the Month for November by averaging a 30-point triple-double per game. Luka was in the thick of the Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player races when the season was halted on March 11. He also found himself in a position to make first-team All-NBA.

More. Where Luka stands in the MVP race

Doncic did not struggle much, but late in games became an issue. The Mavericks could not generate offense as their star’s efficiency dipped. In clutch situations defined by NBA Stats (score within five points with less than five minutes remaining), Doncic shot just 32.3 percent from the field and 17.1 percent on his 3-pointers. He and Kristaps Porzingis both struggled which led to Dallas being one of the worst teams in this area.

It was not just clutch games for Luka Doncic, though. He struggled in the fourth quarter all season. Let us take a look at the stats before determining why it happened.

Next: Evidence

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