NBA Highlights: The Wire has one of the best tv lines in history. When Omar advises Wee-Bey, “You come at the King, you better not miss,” Luka Doncic goes to the King on Tuesday night. The choice to switch hunts and isolate LeBron had some history, which we’ll go over. Luka went to the King in the end. And he didn’t make a mistake.
NBA Highlights: Luka Doncic didn’t have a great night by his standards. It’s because the Mavericks defeated the Lakers 109-104. He scores 25 points, but just 9 of his 21 shots are good. Also, he missed all five of his 3-point attempts. But Doncic takes over in the downturn, and LeBron was powerless to stop him.
Dorian Finney-Smith is called upon to provide a ball screen for Doncic. And to get James to notice him. Though LeBron does a great job of going to Doncic’s strong side, Doncic wants the one-on-one matchup. Luka also hits him with a vicious one-legged fade that puts LeBron defenseless, shutting off the paint and forcing his left.
Thirty seconds later, Doncic is back on the hunt for LeBron, who is now playing solid defense, even disturbing Luka’s dribble. But he can only be with him for a certain amount of time. Also, Doncic eventually beats LeBron downhill, which sets off a domino effect for Stanley Johnson, the low-help man. He’ll have to step up, leaving Dwight Powell wide open for a lob layup on the backside.
NBA Highlights: Moreover, Doncic calls for the screen again less than a minute later. This time to get LeBron singled on him. Again, LeBron makes things difficult for Luka by physically blocking his route. But Doncic remains undaunted. He bounces off LeBron because he’s a big, physical guy. He comes around the corner and slams in a high-arcing floater that isn’t as simple as he makes it appear.
In today’s NBA parlance, a “Switch Hunt.” It is the idea that a weak defender is a target. Luka gets the switch after requesting a screen from the vulnerable defender’s man.
However, Doncic’s decision to target LeBron was most likely a plan to eliminate James as a backup defender. It was to be a compliment. At the very least, it’s a warning to the rest of the Lakers’ defenders. Doncic’s creative efforts are not intimidated by Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, Talon Horton-Tucker, or Stanley Johnson.
NBA Highlights: LeBron James
If LeBron is a better, proactive defender. He’s lingering off the ball and posing a greater danger to double or jump passing lanes. Doncic was also late, which impacted his shot. Luka understands that the help is less factor with LeBron protecting Doncic’s heads-up. He can also play one-on-one games. Luka enjoys his isolated opportunities to support his shot or a teammate, even against a better individual defender. And he was right.
NBA Highlights: Moreover, when Jason Kidd was hired as the Dallas Mavericks head coach, the criticism began with how poor of a decision they had made. Jason Kidd has not shown his ability in previous projects. When it comes to developing sophisticated Xs and Os advantages. Also, Kidd was known for doing these things that were detrimental to his team. But it’s about time to acknowledge his role in creating a defensive mindset within the squad. It is also a bit of a strategy against LeBron and the Lakers. And he knew it was a good decision.
Lastly, Jason Kidd didn’t have Luka switch-hunt LeBron for the entire game. He waited until the result was in doubt. Then he sprung the strategy on the Lakers when they least expected it. It also gave the Mavericks three important possessions late in a game that might have gone either way. Coaching is important. Not as much as having great players like Luka and LeBron, but it matters. Dallas is beginning to appear to be in better hands than we had expected.
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