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Luka Doncic Turnover Breakdown (Video)

Why is Luka Doncic turning the ball over so much and where can he improve?

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After 12 NBA games Luka Doncic is killing it averaging: 20.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, shooting just under 49% from the field, 39.5% from three, and 76% from the line.

But the biggest complaint fans bring up about his offensive game is his turnover average. Luka has turned the ball over 50 times this season, that’s 4.2 times per game, the most among rookies, in fact, only 7 rookies that have averaged 4 or more turnovers per game since 1973 when TOs were first counted.

  • Phil Ford (1978-79)
  • Isiah Thomas (1981-82)
  • Ron Harper (1986-87)
  • Jim Jackson (1992-93)
  • Allen Iverson (1996-97)
  • Trae Young (2018-19)
  • Luka Doncic (2018-19)

This season there are only 3 players in the league averaging more turnovers per game than Luka: James Harden (5), Giannis Antetkounmpo (4.8), and Devin Booker (4.8).

Back in the 2000s only 8 players averaged four or more turnovers, but in the last 4 seasons 12 players have averaged 4+ turnovers including two MVPs.

The NBA has definitely changed. One major contributing factor is pace. Pace is an estimate of the number of possessions a team has per 48 minutes.

This season the entire NBA is on pace to clock in at a pace of 100.4. That would be the highest mark since the 1988-89 season.

In the 2000s NBA teams pace remained between 90.5 and 92.4, but in the 2013-14 season the league’s pace started trending up significantly until we hit the 100.4 mark that the league is documenting today.

Along with Pace, individual player’s Usage Percentage is trending up as well, 5 out of the top 8 usage percentages in recorded NBA history have occurred in the last 9 years.

So the league is faster and individual players are controlling the ball more often. That doesn’t answer for all of Luka turnovers but it does explain why individual turnover numbers are increasing to an extent.

All that being said let’s look at Luka’s turnovers and see what things he can clean up.

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