Mavericks star Luka Doncic falls back into trap that plagued him last season

Chicago Bulls v Dallas Mavericks
Chicago Bulls v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks were off to an elite start ahead of Friday's matchup with the Denver Nuggets, and fans' expectations were sky-high.

Luka Doncic was playing some of the best basketball of his career, and the role players around him were stepping up.

Dallas had also been without Kyrie Irving for two games, and winning without him was a massive achievement.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic falls back into trap that plagued him last season

In the opening game of the In-Season Tournament, Denver humbled Mavs fans. The Nuggets dominated Dallas and won 125-114.

Denver destroyed Dallas on the glass, and the Mavs' lack of size didn't match up well with Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon.

Jokic finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, while Gordon finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

Despite Doncic's massive 34 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists, he took a step back in one part of the game.

Through the first few games, Doncic wasn't complaining as much. His complaining to officials was a massive concern during the FIBA World Cup, and it appeared that he was trying to get better about it.

Tonight he looked like the same Luka from last year.

He wasn't running back on defense and seemed more concerned with arguing with the referees instead. Doncic didn't pick up a technical in this game, but his progress regarding his complaining took a step back in this game.

Doncic was definitely getting hacked around the goal (as he seemingly always does), but he will need to be better about not complaining as much to reach his peak potential as a player.

This was one of the things that was holding him back last season, and he seems like he is more focused on being a leader this season.

In order for Dallas to be a serious contender, the complaining must be kept to a minimum, and he must continue to step up as a leader.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.