3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' 136-124 victory over Pelicans

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Stud - Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic’s 3-point shooting to start the season has been a hallmark of efficiency. Doncic is shooting 41.7 percent from beyond the arc to start the season after 10 games, and it would truly be historic if he could keep that rate up given the degree of difficulty on most of his 3-pointers.

Doncic is noticeably playing with a little discomfort after a couple of minor injuries to start the year, so perhaps that’s what has warranted his prerogative in terms of shooting this much from the outside. But perhaps, he’s taking a drastic leap as a shooter, and last night’s 4-9 clip from a distance furthers that notion.

Couple that with Doncic doing a much better job at taking care of the ball last night than in the last few games as he only had two turnovers, and it would be completely ludicrous to not list him as a stud in a game where he scored 30 points in less than 30 minutes. Doncic controlled the game on all levels when Kyrie Irving was out of the game, and did a good job of picking his times to run the show as well as letting Irving have his in a game where they both were having gaudy performances.

Doncic is continuing to prove that he is at least an average defender despite the continual slip-up, and he’s adapting well to trying to get out and transition and push the pace more even if he’s battling a couple of nagging minor injuries.

The Pelicans were not an easy matchup from the perspective of how much size and length they have to throw on Doncic, but he did a good job getting the ball out quickly out of traps and still put the work in on many defenders in one-on-one matchups last night regardless of resume. If Doncic continues to play like this and stays relatively injury-free, then he can certainly play himself into the MVP discussion.