When Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t get a shot off in time for a last second attempt you could tell he was heated, Luka was furious, and of course MFFLs had all kinds of feelings after the Mavericks 7th loss in 8 games falling to an NBA worst 2-15 on the road.
After everything that Luka Doncic has done over the last few months, all of the clutch shots, plays that I’ve broken down on this very channel, including this insane shot with 0.6 seconds left against the Trail Blazers that he had hit just under a week ago; how did Luka not even sniff a chance to make something happen on this play?
After the game, ESPN’s Tim Macmahon reports that Luka Doncic was intended to be a decoy.
I'm told idea was to have Luka Doncic, who originally lined up in the backcourt, serve as a decoy to open up floor. Pelicans denied him with Jrue Holiday, their best defender, creating 4-on-4 situation. Dennis Smith Jr. just didn't get shot off in time. https://t.co/Tm8uXlqbf2— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 29, 2018
And former Wizards video coordinator Bryan Oringher agrees with the report that Luka was being used as a decoy.
My take watching the Mavericks last-sec play. Luka was a decoy. They knew Pelicans would switch slower big onto DSJ. Think that was the plan and he did get by AD easily. Just took too many dribbles. Took 5. Needed to take 3-4 and then rise up for floater (and of course make it)..— Bryan Oringher (@ScoutWithBryan) December 29, 2018
However Mavs radio play by play announcer Chuck Cooperstein and Mavs.com writer Bobby Karalla claim that he wasn’t a decoy and that the way Jrue Holiday was guarding Luka caused the Mavs to change the play. But neither of those claims are specifically sourced, other than them being Mavericks employees.
No decoy. They wanted to get it to him with a running start, but NO played it right by putting Holiday right in his face. Never let him get the ball https://t.co/KPhRHMTI19— Chuck Cooperstein (@coopmavs) December 29, 2018
He wasn't a decoy. Meant to run up and take the hand-off but Holiday face-guarded him in the backcourt. Another timeout could've helped them but alas— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) December 29, 2018
So what happened? Was Luka Doncic a decoy and the play ran as designed? Or did Rick Carlisle or Dennis Smith Jr. call an audible? Let’s breakdown this last second shot against the Pelicans.
Whatever was drawn up, this loss isn’t full on Dennis, the Mavs gave up this game in a variety of ways. They gave up 20 offensive rebounds, missed 10 free throws, and Anthony Davis had his way with the Mavs defense scoring a season-high 48 points. It’s just another opportunity for growth for a young backcourt.
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