Luka Doncic came into the season as many people’s choice for MVP.
Fresh off a run to the Western Conference Finals, everything seemed lined up perfectly for him to take the next step and ascend to rarified LeBron James-esque air in the NBA.
Unfortunately, the 2022-23 season has not been kind to him.
Not only did his Mavericks go all in and bust on a Kyrie Irving deal at the NBA Trade Deadline, but it is now increasingly looking like the squad won’t even make the playoffs.
This week, Doncic took something of a reflective position on this failed season.
When pressed on whether Dallas’ problem is that he and Irving haven’t had time to gel, Doncic refused to accept that as an excuse.
“I don’t think offense is the problem. I’ve always said this. It’s our defensive end. I think anybody can score on us. Whoever it is, anybody can score on us,” Doncic told Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News.
Doncic also made a confession about his own defensive prowess.
Luka Doncic takes blame for team’s poor plays, says he has to be better on defense. #lukadoncic #nba #mavs #kyrieirving #mffl pic.twitter.com/wL8HxoKIA1
— goforitradio (@goforitradiocom) April 4, 2023
“I’ve been playing basketball for 3 straight years,” he said.
“Four weeks in between it was free. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to play really hard on both ends. But obviously, the defensive end I gotta be way better.”
Doncic also admitted that he missed current New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson.
Reporter: “How much have you guys missed Brunson?”
Luka Doncic: “A lot. I mean, you know amazing guy, amazing player.”
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) April 4, 2023
“A lot,” Doncic replied when asked how much. “I mean, you know amazing guy, amazing player.”
Doncic has been quite open about his issues playing beside Irving over the past few weeks. Irving has been similarly honest.
What a year for Jalen Hurts. https://t.co/gYCCyb2Uhb
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 4, 2023
The pair simply has not been able to overcome the obstacles thrown their way.
For all intents and purposes, this was a lost season.
Will Doncic be able to get the Mavericks back on track in 2023-24? Time will tell.
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