Way Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic can get better: 2. Defense
Doncic came in more ready than most NBA rookies, but he was still a below-average defender. He struggled to adjust to the size and speed of the game on that end of the floor. Coach Rick Carlisle was forced to hide him and put Luka on lesser scoring options.
That is not the case anymore. Doncic has taken a significant step on the defensive end in his third NBA season. His energy and effort have gone up, and it has resulted in an increased block rate. Luka has a stout frame and enough speed to stay in front of the elite wings in the league.
Fans have seen him match up on star players and hold his own this season. Ben Simmons is one of the best finishers in the NBA, but he fails to take Doncic off the dribble here.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/02/25/0022000498/451/941cf3dd-e948-d5d7-317c-b13c53b121f3_1280x720.mp4
Luka being able to defend on the perimeter is important for the Mavericks. It gives them additional lineup options and freedom to switch. Doncic is never going to be a lockdown or All-Defense candidate, but he has the size and frame to make an impact. Fans can see it starting to happen. Expect more growth on the defensive end as he inches towards his prime.
Next: No. 1