Dallas Mavericks: Why Luka Doncic struggles in the fourth quarter

Tyler Watts
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 Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

What the numbers say

Let us look at the stats broken down by quarter.

First quarter: 10.2 minutes, 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 47.4 percent from the field, 35.1 percent on his 3-pointers.

Second quarter: 6.8 minutes, 5.8 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 46.2 percent from the field, 31.9 percent on his threes.

Third quarter: 10.7 minutes, 9.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 46.2 percent from the field, 32.7 percent on his 3-pointers.

Fourth quarter: 6.9 minutes, 5.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 42.7 percent from the field, 23.3 percent on his threes.

Luka Doncic followed a similar minutes pattern for most of the season. He would play nearly all of the first and third quarters. Taking his rests to begin the second and fourth. He often entered near the mid-way mark to finish out each half. There were nights where coach Rick Carlisle and the Mavs deviated from this plan, but it was not often.

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Those numbers do not tell the whole story. Let us look at them laid out per-minute.

First quarter: 0.91 points, 0.32 rebounds, 0.29 assists, 47.4 percent, 35.1 percent

Second quarter: 0.85 points, 0.24 rebounds, 0.25 assists, 46.2 percent, 31.9 percent

Third quarter: 0.85 points, 0.30 rebounds, 0.28 assists, 46.2 percent, 32.7 percent

Fourth quarter: 0.80 points, 0.20 rebounds, 0.17 assists, 42.7 percent, 23.3 percent

Doncic has his best numbers in the first quarter. He is still elite in frames two and three before falling off significantly in the fourth.

Consider this, Luka was third in the NBA with 31.0 points per 36-minutes this season. Just in the fourth quarter, he puts up 28.8 points per-36 which would have ranked sixth. The problem is the drop in his efficiency. Why does it happen?

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