HomeViralUnveiling the Hidden Gem: Luka Doncic Dominates as a Superstar, with One...

Unveiling the Hidden Gem: Luka Doncic Dominates as a Superstar, with One Game-Changing Secret

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Luka Doncic has stepped up for the Mavericks in a specific way that has been overlooked.

The Dallas Mavericks earned a 131-129 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night. Luka Doncic enjoyed another incredible game, while Tim Hardaway Jr. also stepped up for Dallas.

The Mavs’ defense has dealt with ups and downs during the 2023-24 season. And surrendering 129 points isn’t exactly anything to write home about. But the Mavericks were trailing by 16 points at half-time before limiting Orlando to just 12 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Mavs scored 35 points in the quarter.

Doncic is known for his offensive prowess. He’s an elite scorer and playmaker, and is often double-teamed as a result. Everyone knows just how talented Luka Doncic is on the offensive end of the floor.

The Mavericks star has also worked hard on improving his defense. He recorded two steals on Monday, but that doesn’t truly tell the whole story of how Doncic impacted the defensive effort. Luka was vocal throughout the game, directing traffic and displaying impressive leadership.

Doncic discussed his defensive leadership while speaking to reporters after Monday’s victory.

“I try to talk even more, try to give energy to the team,” Doncic said. “If I do it, it’s going to inspire everybody to do it so I just gotta do it more.”

Luka Doncic emerging as a leader

Mavericks' Luka Doncic smiling with the American Airlines Center in background.

Doncic leads on offense as well, but it’s difficult not to notice. The amazing thing about his leadership is that Doncic is still only 24 years old. Yet, he has obviously earned much respect.

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Doncic and Hardaway took care of business in Monday’s win. Luka finished the contest with 45 points, 15 assists, and nine rebounds. Hardaway added 36 points and eight rebounds.

Hardaway commented on his on-court chemistry with Luka Doncic after the game.

“[I’ve] been playing with Luka for the last five years now since 2019 when we got traded here,” Hardaway said. “I know his game. I know his game, I know where he wants me to be out there on the floor, in pick-and-roll situations, when he wants me to slip, when he wants me to pop, when to attack, when not to. Just playing off his energy.

“[I’m] playing off his energy meaning if they’re face-guarding him, playing off him, using him as a screener in some ways, and some situations like that. Yeah man, it’s been a process, but it doesn’t take that long if you’re confident out there and he knows that you’re confident.”

Doncic’s minutes

Mavericks' Luka Doncic looking serious.

Luka Doncic’s minutes have also been a subject of discussion over the past week. Luka played in 90-plus minutes between Friday and Saturday’s games. He played in 43 minutes on Monday, still a heavy workload but a decrease from his 46-minute outing on Saturday.

Prior to the game, head coach Jason Kidd commented on the Mavericks’ need to give Luka more rest moving forward.

“Just know that you’re not gonna play 46 minutes tonight,” Kidd said. “We can’t put that type of pressure on him (Doncic). He loves to play the game of basketball no matter what the minutes are. But as a whole, we can’t run his minutes like that, especially back-to-back or with a day off. We gotta let other guys participate. Hopefully we can put those guys in a position to be successful.

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“But we can’t lean on him to save the day every time. He’s gotta take a break, he’s gotta rest. It’s not just about the game in the moment it’s about going forward. And so, again, we’ve talked about our health isn’t very good but we’ve got other guys that can pick up the slack and they’re going to have to tonight.”

Luka Doncic was asked about his minutes declining from 46 to 43 on Monday as well.

“Yeah, it’s been tough. Three games in four days so, I gotta go home man,” Doncic said with a smile on his face.

Doncic’s willingness to play as often as necessary is another element of his leadership. Luka doesn’t complain and understands that Dallas relies on him without question. But Kidd’s comments came to fruition on Monday, as players such as Dereck Lively II and Jaden Hardy also performed well along with Doncic and Hardaway.

What’s next for the Mavericks?

The Mavericks are now 26-21 following Monday’s win. Their schedule isn’t going to get any easier over the next week, however.

Dallas will travel to Minnesota for a clash with the Western Conference-leading Timberwolves on Wednesday before returning home to host a talented Milwaukee Bucks team. The Mavs will then play the Philadelphia 76ers on the road.

Luka Doncic will look to continue leading the Mavs on both ends of the floor as Dallas looks to navigate their way through this difficult next stretch of games.


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