Luka Doncic is putting on a show at Eurobasket. He put up 47 points against France, and has led Slovenia into the quarterfinals. There’s no shortage of great plays from his run this summer, but one in particular stood out to me:
Luka Doncic is good at basketball.#EuroBasket x #BringTheNoise— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 3, 2022
Something beautiful always happens when Doncic and his team push the ball in transition. Doncic’s game is specifically made for fast breaks. Unfortunately, it’s something you don’t see much when he’s playing for the Dallas Mavericks.
In 2019-20, the Mavericks ranked 22nd in the NBA in points off fast breaks. In 2020-21, they improved slight to 21st, but in 2021-22, under new coach Jason Kidd, they dropped all the way to 28th. I’ve been begging for the Mavericks to run for years now, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon.
Under two different coaches, the Mavericks have failed to get Doncic out into the open floor and run for easy points. Either Rick Carlisle and Kidd share very similar philosophies on slow paced offenses, or it’s Doncic who doesn’t like to run. Evidence is starting to point toward the latter.
It’s hard to argue with the results, though. The Mavericks did make it to the Western Conference finals without running an offense heavy on fast breaks. But there were so many times that the offense stagnated in games and getting buckets became incredibly difficult. Why not grab a few extra easy points every game by simply getting out in transition?
The upcoming season will tell if last season was just a result of personnel and circumstance or if the Mavericks’ offense will continue its creep toward a team that walks the ball up the court every single possession. If Doncic and company continue to enjoy their slower pace, though, there’s always a way to spice things up if the offense gets stale. Kidd can just look to examples like the one above for inspiration.