DALLAS - The franchise-cornerstone of the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, has taken the NBA by storm. He has already earned multiple All-NBA First-Team nods and is considered one of the top candidates to win the MVP award in 2021-22.
In an interview with CBS Sports' Ruben Palacious, Mavericks assistant coach God Shammgod described what it's like to coach Doncic on a daily basis.
Shammgod explained that Doncic is a 'sponge' when it comes to soaking up information and adding to his skill-set. Both learn a lot from each other during video sessions breaking down the game.
I believe he has a chance every year to be MVP. Every year, I know he's going to be a top-five player. He's such a sponge, it's like any little thing you give him he takes to the highest level and that's the best thing about working with him. And it's not just one-sided, I learn from him just as much as he learns from me. I talk to him just as much as he talks to me about how we see the game. We have video sessions breaking down film.
It's evident that Doncic is calculated with his development and is evidenced not only by the general growth in his production, but particularly by various new aspects of his skill-set that he either sharpens or integrates.
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One of the more intriguing elements of Doncic's development has been his use of counters against defenders who cut off his drives. His expanded use of short-range jump shooting is a prime example and made him all the more challenging for the LA Clippers to defend in the playoffs.
When going right, Doncic will often use a turnaround jumper. This is often the most comfortable outcome for a right-handed player and often uses the defender's momentum to his advantage. When adding a fallaway to the shot, it's nearly impossible to block.
Doncic looks to use the one-legged 'Dirk' jumper when cutoff going left. Deploying this technique often keeps the body angle for a right-handed player in an ideal situation to convert accurately on the shot attempt.
At just 22-years-old, there is still a lot of time for Doncic to continue to add various elements to his game. He entered the league with an elite deceleration ability that rivals the likes of James Harden and has expanded on his approach each season.
Perhaps the next step for Doncic will be to continue to become more efficient on stepback three-pointers given the rate he takes them. Those are very helpful shots in the grand-scheme of the half-court offense, but converting at a greater clip could prove to be devastating for defenses.