Skip to main content

Luka Doncic Speaks Up For Rotation Change in Mavs’ Win vs. Nuggets

After multiple blown fourth-quarter leads this season, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic talked coach Jason Kidd into shaking things up on Friday night in a win over the Denver Nuggets.

Most of the games the Dallas Mavericks have played in so far have been stressful ones. That has been the case whether the final result was a win or a loss. The biggest reason for this is Dallas’ inability to hold onto big leads late in games.

During Friday's 127-99 win over the depleted Denver Nuggets, the Mavs had a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Luka Doncic typically rests at the beginning of the final frame, but given Dallas' previous struggles, the superstar asked coach Jason Kidd to make a change to his usual rotation in order to keep the Nuggets at bay.

“It’s great," said Doncic about starting the fourth quarter. "We got to make sure we win the game. I asked for it this time. [Jason Kidd] said, ‘Yeah, no problem.’

"We kind of know [in past games this season] when the other team has superstars out that we lose a game. We’re kind of known for that, I guess. Today we had to change this. Just approach the game the same way. They have good players, they’re still a good team. They have plenty of guys who can go off without Nikola [Jokić]. I think we had to be ready, and the plan succeeded.”

Although Kidd had a fantastic first year as coach of the Mavs, he's been in somewhat of a sophomore slump in his second season when it comes to his rotations and general game management. That's not to say things can't turn around as the year goes on, because it certainly did last year. But until that happens, it's a good sign of growth from Doncic as a franchise player that he's identifying reoccurring issues and fixing them himself.

By starting the fourth, not only was Dallas able to keep its big lead and secure a "comfortable" win for the second time this season, but Doncic ended up playing two minutes less than his season average of 37 minutes per game as well. It was a small tweak in a game against a shorthanded opponent, but it could be a sign of things to come for the Mavs going forward.

Dallas takes on Denver at American Airlines Center for the second time in three days on Sunday night. Stay tuned to for coverage before and after the game.

Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Mavericks? Click Here.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook.