Players’ workouts during the shut down have been a mixed bag. Stars such as James Harden and LeBron James have home gyms nicer than the ones you (and I) pay for and have been posting their workouts on Instagram. Other players had equipment sent home by teams with trainers leading online workouts that were the best players could manage, but not keeping players in game shape.
Luka Doncic appears to be in the latter category.
His trainer said Luka is “not in the best shape” but is working out and will be ready when games start in Orlando. The trainer, Jure Drakslar, spoke with RIA Novosti in Solvenia, and that was translated by Eurohoops.net.
“We have been working together for the last three weeks. Luka was previously in quarantine and trained individually at home,” he pointed out, “The last three weeks we have been working hard to prepare him for the resumption of the NBA season…
“Most players struggled to stay in shape. Doncic is no exception,” said Drasklar… “We understand his role in Dallas. Luka is improving every day. He puts in a lot of effort. He has completely dedicated himself to be ready…
“He is not in the best shape, which is normal. NBA games will not be played before the end of July, so there is enough time to help him recover and get ready,” he added, “However, he undoubtedly would be ready to play right now.”
Doncic’s conditioning improved considerably between his rookie and sophomore campaigns, one of the key reasons he made the leap from Rookie of the Year to a guy who will make an All-NBA team and draw some MVP votes this time around. That he slipped a little during the NBA’s forced hiatus is not a surprise — a lot of players have — nor an issue, as long as he puts in the work to get back.
Dallas enters Orlando as the seven seed in the West, only 1.5 games back of both six seed Houston and fifth seed Oklahoma City. The Mavericks moving up could help them avoid the Clippers in the first round, a matchup that would be particularly difficult for Dallas (which lacks good wing defenders, and the Clippers bring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to the party).
Making that move up will require peak Doncic. Which means he’s got some conditioning to do.