5 things Luka Doncic must improve next season if the Dallas Mavericks want contend

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Defensive intensity

Luka Doncic averaged a career-high 1.4 steals per game this season, but that number dropped when the team started losing. Injuries could have played a factor, but over his final 19 games, he averaged just 1.0 steal per game and it was propped up by a four-steal night against the Nuggets on Feb. 15.

His defensive intensity plays a significant factor here. Luka is a below-average defender, but he makes himself seem worse by not trying on that end of the floor. Head coach Jason Kidd loves to use the term “participate”. The Mavs need Doncic to participate on defense. He does not need to be a lockdown defender, but the 24-year-old superstar must guard his man and box out when he crashes the glass.

Fans see Luka’s defensive intensity fluctuate in games. He often makes his best defensive plays late with the contest on the line. The Mavs need to see that Luka more if they are going to be serious title contenders. The season is a grind, and there are going to be bad nights, but Dallas needs number 77 to be engaged on the defensive end of the floor every night if they want to win.

Luka’s defensive intensity is often the worst when the opposition is not strong. The Dallas Mavericks need him to be more consistent and to participate on defense.