Dallas Mavericks: Why Luka Doncic struggles to hit threes

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Price of being top option

Being the number one scorer on a team is the goal of any star talent. It comes with a price, though. That is made greater when the player is asked to be the primary ball-handler and playmaker like Luka Doncic. It means you are forced to take the bailout shots.

They are the most difficult attempts. Those shots come after your team has moved the ball and tried multiple things, but nothing worked. Now just a few ticks are left on the shot clock and an attempt is needed.

Grading Luka's 2019-2020 season. Read

They are also the time running out heaves from center court. Those shots do not swish through the net at a high rate. In fact, Luka missed all ten of his attempts from 35-plus feet this season.

NBA Stats breaks down a lot of this on their shot dashboard. Unfortunately, it does not have every game. It only counts 467 of Doncic’s 491 3-point tries this season. Luka was three of 51 in that sample with four seconds or less remaining in the shot clock when the ball left his fingers.

Taking those 61 attempts out of Luka’s season stats change his 3-point percentage to 35.5 percent. Being the number one scorer comes with a price. This all makes no mention of the fact that the opposition using its best defender on the top option too.

Next: Shot clock