How 'Skinny Luka' might be the Mavericks' key to winning the NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

This offseason, the Dallas Mavericks main focus was improving the roster from last season.

Some key areas of improvement included finding a 3-and-D wing and getting a bigger body down low. The team believes they filled in those gaps with the additions of Grant Williams and rookies Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

Other acquisitions involved signing Seth Curry and Dante Exum. Both players bring a different flair to the game, as Curry is a lethal three-point shooter, and Exum is a defensive-minded guard they can bring off the bench.

How 'Skinny Luka' might be the Mavericks' key to winning a title

However, one new addition to the team is a "skinny" Luka Doncic. In recent news this summer, videos and photos began to surface of Doncic doing intense workouts.

Fans and experts began to soon take note of Doncic and his lifestyle change. Two weeks ago, Tim MacMahon and Brian Dameris were on "Howdy Partners" to discuss the recent offseason progress for Dallas. One of the main topics they discussed was Doncic and his physical progress.

"We're talking about encouraging things for the Mavericks, follow Luka's Instagram, scroll his engagement stuff and look at the workouts...He looks like he's in phenomenal shape and people will see that. A 245-pound version of Luka, you're going to have a chance to be competitive."

Tim MacMahon

On Tuesday, the same conversation was brought up when discussing Dallas' offseason progress. On Tuesday, ESPN's MacMahon and Kendrick Perkins discussed the impact a new Doncic might have. The one thing they both highlighted was how this might be the one thing that keeps Dallas in contention.

"The primary reason to believe the Mavs can bounce back, you just showed Luka looks lean."

Tim MacMahon

Perkins added onto to the comment stating, "I love what they did with the No. 10 pick in Lively, I love the addition of Seth Curry and I definitely love skinny Luka."

Remember it wasn't too long ago that fans and analysts were calling out Doncic for his weight.

In a game against the Brooklyn Nets that he was calling two years ago, Reggie Miller poked jabs at the Mavs' star, stating Luka "has got to trim down." A year later, Miller would have more things to say about Doncic and his playing shape.

"Luka's got to be in better shape. To me, if he's in better shape and they can play fast, that puts more pressure on the opposing team."

Reggie Miller

Doncic's ideal weight is 230 pounds. At the start of the 2021-22 season, he came into training camp weighing approximately 260 pounds. Despite this, he helped the Mavs reach the Western Conference Finals. Fast forward to March, a month before the season ended, and he was still averaging around 30 points per game.

This offseason, he seems like he'll be closer to his ideal weight. The Mavs' staff even called for Doncic to get in better shape. With recent training videos surfacing online and the FIBA World Cup approaching, it seems as though Doncic might look better than ever. There have even been rumors that Doncic hired a nutritionist this summer.

The main issue will be sustaining the weight. We've seen various seasons of Doncic returning in different weight forms.

"There have been times when we've seen Luka come into training camp in great shape, the thing is being able to sustain that for the long haul. That's why I give a lot of credit to (Nikola) Jokic because if you look at him and you look at how he was disciplined throughout the course of the season, that's what Luka has to do."

Kendrick Perkins

In five seasons with Dallas, Doncic has an impressive resume that includes being a four-time All-Star, four All-NBA First Team, and 2019 Rookie of the Year. During the 2021-22 season, he finished fifth in MVP voting, and in 2022-2023 he finished eighth in MVP voting. In both seasons, he was considered overweight. So, what can an in-shape Doncic do? Only time will tell.

We could see Doncic in the best shape of his young NBA career, and Dallas could be competing in the NBA Finals once June rolls around. Doncic is one of the best players in the NBA, and we could see him come into next season playing the best basketball of his career.

We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors surrounding Luka Doncic and the Mavs, so stay tuned.