Take another 49 points!Doncic officially opens invincible mode. Porzingis?
Luka Doncic, you keep playing like this, the coach is going to run out of words to describe what you’re doing on the field.On Feb. 18, the Dallas Mavericks played their last game before the All-Star break: at the New Orleans Pelicans.Doncic had 49 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as the Mavericks overcame a late rally after dominating the first three quarters to edge the New Orleans Pelicans 125-118 on the road.Doncic is averaging 41.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and seven assists in his last four games.Doncic has 199 points in the last five games, breaking his franchise record of 186 points set a year ago.Only Joel Embiid has scored more points in five straight games this season.”I think I’ve used every noun, every adjective to describe Doncic’s game,” Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “The bigger the stage, the better he’s going to be.”Kidd said luka “always sets the tone early,” as he did in the previous two games against the Clippers.He started the offense, using screens to shoot from the outside, hitting four of his first five 3-point attempts and finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in the quarter.He scored six points in just five minutes in the second quarter and 20 in the third. After three quarters, Doncic had 44 points.”What he’s doing is unbelievable.”Mavericks center Maxi Kleber said Doncic made it easy for him to score 40 points. “I didn’t even realize he had 40 points in the third quarter, and it felt so quiet and easy, and it just happened.”The Mavericks led by as many as 24 points at the end of the third quarter, but C.J. McCollum refused to concede.C.J. McCollum scored to lead the Pelicans on a 22-6 run to start the final quarter to put the game back in play.McCollum, who finished with 38 points, has scored 20 or more in four straight games, including three of 30 or more.In his five games with the Pelicans, McCollum is averaging 28.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 turnovers, shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range, 76.5 percent from free throw range and 61 percent from true field goal range.But instead of getting their star guard from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Pelicans are 1-4 in their last five games.”We’ve got to have more urgency on both ends of the floor,” pelicans coach Willie Green said.We are still working hard to solve the problem, but losing is unacceptable.”It’s not acceptable because we started the game badly and we need to work harder.”He hit five straight points to cut the Pelicans’ lead to 113-118 with 3:36 left.The Mavericks then came back, with Doncic driving and Smith hitting a run shot to briefly stop the tide.The Pelicans pulled to within four when McCollum stole from Doncic for an uncontested layup.Jaylen Brunson hit two free throws and Brandon Ingram missed a 3-pointer to give the Mavericks a close win.Doncic’s size was a concern at the start of the 2021-22 season.As the game progressed, Doncic was back in MVP shape and competitive form for the first time since mid-January.Entering February, Doncic is averaging 36.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.4 assists while scoring a career-high 51 points.Doncic’s explosiveness has also improved.Doncic contributed two dunks against the Sixers on Feb. 5.Kidd joked, “When he pops in, he’ll probably tell you he’s flying.In a Feb. 9 game against the Pistons, Doncic kept asking the coaching staff to let him play into the fourth quarter. “He was in control of the game.”Mavericks assistant coach Igor Kokoshkov has coached Doncic for only five months with the Team, but he has been close with Doncic since he was 18.Kokoshkov was the head coach of Slovenia’s historic 2017 European Championship victory.In his eyes, the way Doncic managed the game was the most impressive.The data is obvious, but there’s a lot more that doesn’t show up in the data.It’s timing, scoring, who has the hottest hands, who plays the best, when the team needs him to score, when the team needs him to distribute the ball.Doncic’s understanding of the game is greater than when he first coached, and he even feels doncic is getting better with each game.”Understanding the game, these things take time and experience, not just basketball IQ.It’s impressive to see a player his age who knows how to lead a team to victory and what the team needs.Whatever the team needs, he provides, and that’s leadership.”Mr. Kokoshkov said.After the Mavericks traded porzingis, Doncic became the only offensive center of gravity.He can play more in the paint, behind the basket.His usage rate is so high, he often takes difficult shots, but he always manages to overcome them.After doncic finished answering questions at his postgame news conference about his recent scoring streak, a Dallas Mavericks staff member told him to enjoy the All-Star break.”No rest.”Doncic replied.Sure, he won’t be easy on NBA All-Star weekend. He’s already an absolute star.Doncic will fly to Cleveland after the game.Although Mark Cuban has a private jet, a hotel suite, and Doncic is ready for his third All-Star trip, back-to-back road trips must have taken their toll.Doncic doesn’t take the All-Star game as a burden. “It’s just an honor to be in the All-star Game,” he said. “It’s my third All-Star game, I don’t take it for granted.”After the All-Star break, the NBA regular season enters its final stretch.A doncic who was “full of energy” before the All-Star break would certainly make the Mavericks more dangerous