Worrying Dallas Mavericks trend to watch: 1. Luka’s usage
Luka Doncic led the league in usage in each of the last two seasons, and he has been over 36 percent for three straight years. The 23-year-old superstar always carries a massive workload, but this season it is up to 39.1 percent, which would be the third-highest mark in NBA history if number 77 can maintain it for the entire season. It would also give him four of the top 21 marks since the 1977-1978 season.
The only two players above him in NBA history saw their teams flame out in the playoffs as both Russell Westbrook and James Harden struggled to maintain their efficiency in the postseason. The Rockets reached the second round before falling to the Warriors in 2019, and Harden requested a trade less than two years later.
The Mavericks need to find a way to get Luka’s usage rate down, even if it is just slightly. Yes, they want the ball in his hands. He is the best shot creator in the world right now, but there is too much of a great thing. Doncic is bordering on that line right now, and the front office needs to be careful that he does not cross it.
There is nobody on the roster that can step up. Dallas needs to address this issue via trade, and it will be interesting to see what moves they can make before the deadline. Stay tuned to find out.