10 Reasons Luka Doncic was wrongfully robbed of the 2024 NBA MVP

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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3. Played at a far better pace this year

As has been talked about many times in this article already, Luka Doncic’s approach to his strength and conditioning last summer helped him improve marginally in many different facets of the game. While Doncic’s defense has been the most notable benefactor of his newfound playing shape, the pace at which the Mavericks have played with this year has also highlighted this.

The Mavericks finished with the seventh best pace in the entire NBA this season at 100.6, which is in large part due to Doncic being able to run more in transition opportunities as well as his increased willingness to find quick outlet passes to catalyze a Mavericks fast-break. Doncic has also done a better job at starting offensive actions in the half-court earlier in the shot clock this year, as his improved conditioning has made possessions where he nearly wastes eight seconds dribbling past half-court a far less frequent occurrence compared to previous seasons.

Doncic has even played off-ball more often to start Mavericks’ offensive possessions this season, especially after the trade deadline, which goes to show just how committed Doncic is toward increasing the tempo of the Mavericks’ offense. The Mavericks may never lead the league in pace with Doncic spearheading their roster, as Dallas doesn’t quite have the athletic portfolio of a young OKC Thunder or Orlando Magic team for instance.

However, Doncic’s conditioning and willingness to increase pace have led to Dallas being one of the 10 fastest teams in the league, something that shouldn’t be an afterthought when bringing up Doncic’s MVP candidacy.