Doncic has become the most talked about rookie in recent NBA history, and for good reason. With his long arms, quick feet, excellent court vision and a knack for pulling up from deep range he’s been dubbed “Dunk City.” But what makes Doncic truly special is his ability to pull off ridiculous dunks with ease on an almost nightly basis.
Luka Doncic might be the only NBA point guard who can pull off these wild dimes. He has a knack for scoring from long range and finding teammates in transition. Read more in detail here: luka doncic shoes.
After receiving the ball on the right wing, Luka Doncic drives hard toward the baseline, muscling Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ziaire Williams his way to the basket and bringing three more defenders into the paint.
For many guards, such a crowd may be difficult, resulting in a forced layup attempt over long arms, a bailout pass, or, worse, a turnover.
It means that Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar and one of the league’s best distributors, has alternatives.
Doncic takes a jump for the basket, but Memphis shot-blocker Jarvis Jackson Jr. finds the ideal position to guard the rim, his 6-foot-11 bulk towering over him.
Doncic decides, while still in the air, that he wants to feed teammate Dorian Finney-Smith, who is 25 feet distant in the other corner.
There are a few flaws in that strategy: Williams and Jackson are sandwiching Doncic in mid-air, and Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is sandwiched in the middle of the two Mavericks. Doncic squeezes the ball between Williams and Jackson, hoping for the momentum of the help defender to expand the gap.
Then there’s an actual curveball.
Doncic snaps his right wrist as he delivers the two-handed overhead pass, enabling a ball that was going towards the end of Memphis’ bench to bend right into Finney-shooting Smith’s pocket.
Doncic walks on after Finney-Smith hits a corner 3 halfway through the first quarter of the Jan. 23 home game, not thinking much of the play until he picks up his phone after the 104-91 victory, in which he scored 37 points, had nine assists, and grabbed 11 rebounds.
“After the game, everyone was messaging me, ‘What a pass,’” Doncic says. “I had no idea what they were referring about. I watched the film, and it reminded me like a video game.”
Finney-Smith and the Mavericks have come to expect a pass from Doncic no matter how tricky the delivery. “I’ve stopped being startled,” Finney-Smith adds, “but he still surprises you.”
Doncic boasts all of the characteristics of a brilliant passer. Doncic’s ability to command pace, systematically probing and manipulating opponents, is admired by Mavs coach Jason Kidd, a Hall of Fame point guard who ranks second all-time in assists (12,091). Doncic, like all exceptional distributors, has the vision to not only see but also create passing lanes.
Doncic, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 240 pounds, has the size to take advantage of passing opportunities that other point guards lack.
Doncic, of course, has the rare mix of ingenuity and flair that makes it so much joy to watch him set up his teammates. To get the ball to his objective, Doncic must sometimes glance away or execute a pass between his knees.
There are times when Doncic chooses to put on a show, especially when the Mavs have a comfortable lead. With the exception of stick-to-the-fundamentals John Stockton, Kidd calls it “a little bit of mustard,” an element that all the great passers have.
Reggie Bullock of the Mavs adds, “Luka magic, Luka magic — that’s what he does.” “He’s attempting to enlist the help of his colleagues, which adds to the atmosphere in the gym.”
“In most situations, function comes before form,” says Mavs center Dwight Powell.
However, Doncic often throws three sorts of passes that fit into both categories.
“You know, sometimes you have to throw something more on it,” Doncic adds. “Make it appealing.”
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Crosscourt lasers in the style of LeBron James
Dwyane Wade didn’t want to be compared to a youngster from a small European nation by LeBron James, his buddy, former teammate, and the undisputed greatest player of his time, who just surpassed 10,000 career assists.
Wade, on the other hand, couldn’t conceive of anybody else who could make a specific pass so quickly and consistently.
Wade remarked in February 2019 when he faced Doncic for the first of two occasions during the Heat legend’s retirement tour, “It’s LeBron James-like from the aspect of how he’s able to rope the pass to shooters in the corner, being blitzed.”
“There aren’t many men capable of doing that and putting it right there. He does a fantastic job with it.”
Wednesday, March 16: Mavericks vs. Nets (7:30 p.m.), Celtics vs. Warriors (9:30 p.m.).
Wednesday, March 23: 7:30 p.m., Nets vs. Grizzlies; 10 p.m., 76ers vs. Lakers.
All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
That pass is often sent over two defenders from high on the right wing to the left corner, going 50 or more feet in the air, requiring considerable heat to reach undetected.
Doncic adds, “I guess that’s the one I appreciate the best.”
As a pick-and-roll ball handler, Doncic can be so powerful as a scorer and facilitator that opponents regularly use the blitzing tactic, trapping him with two defenders to force the ball out of his hands. Opponents help off the shooter in the far corner because if they don’t, Doncic will be able to find the rolling big man for an easy dunk, even if it means tossing a behind-the-back bounce pass between two defenders, as he did to secure a triple-double in a victory at Memphis on Jan. 14.
However, Doncic’s ability to properly fire those long-range lasers diagonally across the court makes cheating away from that corner shooter a huge danger.
“It’s a tough pass because you can’t chuck it if you’re 6-3 or smaller,” Kidd explains. “Your window is bigger when you’re 6-7 or 6-8, so you can chuck that pass. When it comes to Luka and LeBron, this is an edge. He can make whatever pass he wants if you can generate that sort of space with that frame.”
The reward for this specific pass: a wide-open corner 3, one of the NBA’s most efficient shots.
Finney-Smith, who is shooting 45.9% on corner 3s this season, adds, “You just have to anticipate the ball.” “He’s got eyes on you even when he’s not looking at you.”
Lobsters, lobsters, lobsters, lobsters, lobsters
For a moment, imagine yourself in Rudy Gobert’s size-20 shoes.
Doncic runs a pick-and-roll with Powell and puts on-ball defender Royce O’Neale on his back as he comes off the screen a few minutes into the Utah Jazz’s Feb. 25 visit to Dallas. As he rolls to the basket, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell motions to Powell, but he doesn’t stop him, probably too afraid about sagging off Bullock on the wing and handing up an open 3. Shooters stationed in the corners are a threat for the other Jazz defenders.
At this point, it’s practically 2-on-1, which is a difficult task even for a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Gobert lines up around the dotted line, denying Doncic an open layup opportunity, and then performs the uncomfortable dance of slowly backpedaling, attempting to deter Doncic from hitting a floater while recovering to prevent a lob to Powell. After taking one more dribble, Doncic pulls off a fast pitch, collecting a high, underhanded lob with his right hand and lofting it high over Gobert to Powell on the opposite side of the hoop for an uncontested slam.
Only the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young — the player swapped for Doncic in a draft-night deal featuring two future perennial All-Star point guards — has more alley-oop assists than Doncic this season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 92 Doncic lobs have led to buckets, while Young has 119.
Some of them happen in transition, like the no-look lob he sent to Finney-Smith from half court in a victory over the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 8. The great majority come as a result of Doncic’s pick-and-roll prowess, often on passes that seem to be floaters until he changes the angle at the last second, forcing the opposing big man to commit.
“You have to make a choice as the big person,” Mavs forward/center Maxi Kleber says. “Do I return and refuse to hand up the lob?” He can make a layup or a floater. Or do I commit, hoping that he has a horrible pass in his hands? However, since he’s so good and tall, he can always locate you on the lob.
“When he’s in a pick-and-roll, you’ll always have a decent option. It’s difficult for defenders to protect him because he comes off it with such patience and reads it so well.”
Powell stands to gain the most. This season, he has completed 47 alley-oops from Doncic, following only Atlanta’s Young-to-Clint Capela (71) as the league’s most prolific lob combos.
“You have to choose your poison,” Powell said. “You want to limit his scoring as much as possible, and 3s from the corner are one of the most lethal shots, thus the lob is often used.”
Being on the receiving end of a Luka lob has just one drawback. If you don’t complete, he’ll most likely remember it.
Finney-Smith recalled, shaking his head, “I attempted to catch [one] sideways.” “We had a discussion about it. He claims to have more bounce than I do.”
Keep your eyes peeled for a stunning Luka Doncic penny at any moment. David J. Phillip/AP Photo
Backward dimes, no-look
Doncic has gone up as if hitting a floater, flicked his right wrist around, and passed — in reverse — to an open shooter behind him on a couple times.
Kidd responds, “I think that’s sort of nice.” “It’s only that his wrists are so strong that heat may be applied to them. That is one of the ones I like to watch or laugh at. That isn’t a simple pass.”
Doncic seems to have found out a more user-friendly version of his back-view assist. Rather of starting his shooting motion, he continues driving and launches a blind, one-handed, over-the-head or over-the-shoulder pass to a shooter he anticipates will occupy the free area behind him.
Kleber explains, “He doesn’t even glance back, and you’re right behind him, and he slips it over his back.” “He’s aware of your presence. It’s merely a matter of having a high IQ. He understands what region his teammate will be open if the defense plays him a specific manner and both [defenders] stick with him.”
Doncic has lately added a new twist, paralyzing defenders with a behind-the-back fake before throwing the no-look, backward dime, as he did to CarVert before hitting Kleber for a 3-pointer early in the Mavs’ Jan. 29 victory against the Indiana Pacers.
Kleber adds, “He’s toying with all the tools.” “Everything with him is live, so it’s difficult to protect him as a defender.” That behind the back may be a pass, so you’ll have to respond to it in some way, and once you do, he’ll go on to the next option… You must respect all he does.
“I’m sure as a child he simply played a lot and had a good time trying to [emulate] And-1’s style. And he’s bringing it to this game.”
Luka Doncic might be the only NBA point guard who can pull off these wild dimes. He is able to get his shot off in a variety of ways, and he has the potential to become one of the best players in the league. Reference: luka doncic stats.
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