LeBron James Warns Against Blitzing Luka Doncic: Mavericks’ Success Hinges on Role Players’ 3-Point Shooting

Luka Doncic

Blitzing Luka Doncic: The Dallas Mavericks are on fire, securing nine victories in their last ten outings and surging to sixth place in the highly competitive Western Conference. Spearheading this remarkable run is none other than Luka Doncic, who boasts an impressive league-leading average of 33.9 points per game. However, amidst this success lies a puzzling trend – Doncic is facing an unusually high number of blitzes on pick-and-rolls, a defensive strategy that aims to double-team him. Recently, LeBron James, fresh off a stellar triple-double performance, raised concerns about this tactic during an appearance on “Mind The Game” with J.J. Redick.


The Doncic Dilemma: Maestro or Decoy?

Luka Doncic’s basketball brilliance is beyond dispute. Renowned for his scoring prowess and exceptional passing skills, he poses a significant threat to any defense. So, why do opponents choose to double-team him, thereby risking leaving other players open for shots? This decision appears counterintuitive at first glance. LeBron James, however, offers a straightforward explanation.


“Because I make all the right reads,” James quipped, underscoring his ability to exploit defensive schemes and find open teammates when faced with a blitz. “It’s that simple. Teams understand they can’t employ the same strategy against me.”


The message is clear – while double-teaming Doncic may prompt quicker decisions, it also creates ample opportunities for his teammates. J.J. Redick echoed this sentiment, lauding Doncic’s exceptional passing ability: “He’s among a select few who can deliver any pass even when faced with a double-team.”


LeBron’s Insight: Why Blitzing Luka Doncic Fails?

Picture Doncic as a chess grandmaster. Employing a blitz against him is akin to executing a hasty pawn move. A skilled player like Doncic anticipates such maneuvers and capitalizes on the gaps in the defense. Recall the Mavericks’ decisive victory over the Sacramento Kings – while Doncic delivered a solid performance with 28 points, it was the remarkable shooting display from players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and P.J. Washington beyond the arc (a combined 8-12 from three-point range) that sealed the win.


This illustrates the inherent danger of overly focusing on Doncic. While teams may succeed in momentarily containing him, it often results in granting open looks to sharpshooters like Kyrie Irving and others. It essentially becomes a “pick your poison” scenario – concentrate on Doncic and risk conceding open three-pointers, or prioritize defending against the shooters and allow Doncic to exploit the gaps.


The Flawed Gambit: Consequences of Blitzing

The statistics speak volumes – Luka Doncic leads the league with an astounding average of 33.9 points per game, while the Mavericks have emerged victorious in nine of their last ten matchups. Additionally, they currently occupy the sixth spot in the highly competitive Western Conference standings. This indicates that despite the increased defensive attention on Doncic, he and his teammates continue to thrive.


Prediction: Impact on Playoff Run

If opponents persist in overcommitting to Doncic defensively and the Mavericks’ supporting cast maintains their proficiency from beyond the arc, Dallas could emerge as a genuine threat in the postseason. Envision a scenario where Doncic draws a double-team, leaving shooters like Hardaway and Irving with uncontested shots. Should opposing defenses fail to adapt accordingly, Doncic’s “decoy dance” might propel the Mavericks towards a memorable playoff run.

In summary, the recent surge in blitzing against Luka Doncic may seem like a logical defensive strategy on the surface, but it often backfires due to Doncic’s exceptional passing ability and the sharpshooting prowess of his teammates. As the Mavericks continue to climb the ranks in the Western Conference, it’s becoming increasingly evident that relying solely on blitzing Doncic is a risky proposition that could ultimately play into Dallas’s hands.




Is double-teaming Doncic a common defensive strategy?


Yes, given Doncic’s offensive capabilities, teams often resort to double-teaming him to disrupt his rhythm.


Who are some of Doncic’s key teammates benefiting from defensive attention on him?


Players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kyrie Irving have capitalized on open opportunities created by double-teams on Doncic.


How does Doncic’s passing ability influence defensive strategies?


Doncic’s exceptional passing skills make him a dual threat – he can either score or find an open teammate when faced with a double-team, complicating defensive decisions.


What adjustments can opposing teams make to counter Doncic’s impact?


Teams may opt for more conservative defensive approaches, prioritizing containment over aggressive double-teams, or deploy versatile defenders to limit Doncic’s effectiveness.


Can Doncic’s decoy role lead to sustained success for the Mavericks in the playoffs?


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While it’s certainly a factor, the Mavericks’ playoff success will depend on various factors, including their ability to adapt to evolving defensive strategies and the performance of their supporting cast.

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