On Wednesday night in PHX Arena, the Dallas Mavericks fell 106-102 to the Phoenix Suns. Yes, 21-year-old Mavs superstar Luka Doncic finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. But coach Rick Carlisle was still moved to express patience. And Doncic was not impressed by his own numbers.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle on Luka Doncic Struggle:
“He’s still getting his game legs under him,” Rick said. “That will get there. But he understands the game as well as any 21-year-old I’ve ever been around. He’ll make the adjustments that are necessary.”
Doncic when asked what how he can improve:
“Attack the paint, for sure … That was my bad. I got to stop taking these very bad shots. It wasn’t just the last one,” Doncic said. “It’s not good for me. It’s not good for the team. And I got to change it. We were attacking the paint really good in the second half. And we should just keep doing that.”
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“When it was 96-all, we were pretty confident. Obviously, a couple things happened. Book (Devin Booker) hit a shot. Someone else hit a three. ...
"This is a first step. We’re going to get it right. We have no other option.”
Doncic on Christmas day matchup vs the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers:
“It’s a long way to go to be one of the faces of the league. But we’re playing the champions. It’s going to be something special. I always wanted to play on Christmas Day.”
Carlisle on upcoming Lakers matchup:
“We got to look at this and really study ourselves and see the things we need to clean up,” Carlisle said. “And then we’re going to have to do a study on the Lakers, figure out what the best matchups and coverages are going to be for us defensively. Look, that’s the world champs. We’re obviously going to have to play a high-level game.”
The Mavericks will shift their attention to the highly-anticipated Christmas matchup on Friday night against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers.