Absinthe wrote:Luka is important to this team due to his passing. 15 assists is nothing to scoff at. He will find open shooters and itâ€™s on his teammates to knock down shots.
Yes indeed. And let me focus on Luka in this post since he's all people are concerned about.
Even though i hate +/- stat, Luka was an outlier in this game so i have to mention it. After the first half, Luka was +18 and the next closest guy was +5. Even though Mavs did have the lead, their game tanked once he went to the bench.
Now here is the real question why Mavs were so up and down this game... and the easy answer is Brunson. Even with KP playing great and Luka being out, Brunson was THE guy who lead the offense in Doncic's absense. This game, Brunson kinda had a stinker, even though i must compliment his defense. He did came alive in the end though, so Luka was not alone in the 4th.
But the thing is even in the 2nd half, Mavs lead went down quickly when Luka went to the bench. His shot is still not here but the passing always is. The importance of role player of knocking down shots is absolutely crucial for this team, well it always has been even with Rick being here but it is important because of how Mavs offense works. Luckily they added some defensive elements to their game to carry them when they're struggling with shooting.
Doncic finished with an insane 85 AST%. He shot poorly but his playmaking ability and also defense (this game) were amazing. He looked quicker and played with a lot of energy. So at this point i'm really asking myself is he just hybernating through regular season or is he really out of shape. It would be awesome if he could play like this every game because standings do matter.
Also, according to defensive rating, Mavs have the 10th best defense this season and are 3rd best in points allowed per game. So all in all Kidd actually did improve this teams defense A LOT. They are now also back at 6th spot in the standings. All they need is offense to click, start making shots at a higher % and we could actually start believing that they can do some real damage in the playoffs. But obviously key to this is how Luka continues to play.