Luka Doncic's teammates have 'begged him' to make 1 crucial change

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are set to take on the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals tonight, and unfortunately, they've fallen into a 0-3 hole following three disappointing losses.

The Celtics' defensive excellence has been too much to handle while the Mavericks offense has struggled in this series so far. Dallas clearly needs a third scorer in this series, and Jason Kidd can't seem to find one as he has tried virtually everyone.

Dallas' superstar duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving were solid in Game 3 when looking at the score sheet, but Doncic has been under fire over the past few days for his poor defense and nonstop complaints to the officials.

Luka Doncic's teammates have 'begged him' to stop whining to referees

Doncic apologized to his teammates after fouling out in Game 3 and letting them down, and these same teammates have reportedly "begged him" to stop complaining to the referees so much.

During Brian Windhorst of ESPN's postgame segment in which he dove into Doncic's defensive struggles and his whining to the officials, he said that Doncic's Mavericks teammates, "countrymen," and coaches have "begged him" to stop complaining to the referees, but it hasn't seemed like anyone is getting through to him.

Doncic's complaining crippled the Mavs in Game 3, and there were several instances in which he didn't get back on defense because he was too busy complaining to referees. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN also reported the same thing, saying "Kidd has told (Doncic) several truths: that he needed to stop making enemies of officials with persistent whining; that he needed to give a more consistent effort on defense; and that he needed to get in better shape to be at his best when his team needed him."

Shelburne continues on to say that Doncic's Mavericks teammates and Slovenian national team teammates have done the same thing. Everyone is on his side, they just know he has to stop whining to referees, buckle down on defense, and take his playing shape more seriously. Doncic has improved in all three of these areas when fully engaged, but it has to become more consistent.

Everyone around Doncic understands just how special he can be, and it's clear that his defense and complaining to officials have to get better. We've seen how well Doncic can do in these playoffs when he focuses on playing basketball rather than working the officials as he did in Game 5 against the Thunder, and the Mavs need a similar mindset change for Game 4 against the Celtics.

Doncic is capable of being better in these areas, but the question is if he'll make it happen or not.