With the Dallas Mavericks shorthanded — Tim Hardaway, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Josh Richardson were all out for various reasons — Luka Doncic decided he needed to take on more.
That led to an impressive 36 point, 16 rebound, 15 assist triple-double that included some ridiculous highlights.
LUKA. MAGIC. pic.twitter.com/cgKdeI0epl
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 17, 2021
It wasn’t enough. Chicago snapped a four-game losing streak and easily handed Dallas 117-101.
Doncic took the blame, speaking to reporters after the game (via Tim MacMahon of ESPN).
“The second half, I played terrible,” Doncic said. “That’s on me, that game. I was being selfish a little bit because I had 30 points in the first half. That wasn’t me in the second half. I’ve got to do way better in the second half. That’s just on me. I’ve got to do way better.”
Dallas had a built-in excuse with three starters and six players total out, but good on Doncic for owning it. That’s what leaders do.
Also, sometimes the best players need to be selfish, something Luke should remember.
Doncic got off to a slower start this season and, while’s he’s averaging 27.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 8.8 assists a game, he has not yet taken a step forward into the MVP candidate level many expected of him. Doncic has played better of late, but the Mavs have lost a couple of games in a row now to drop to 6-6 on the season. It’s early, there is a lot of season still to be played, but both Dallas and Doncic have not reached the levels expected of them by many this year.