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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Luka Doncic baffled by his shooting struggles to start season

Luka Doncic bringing the ball up the floor

Some of the shine has come off Luka Doncic’s star so far this season, and Doncic himself doesn’t seem to have any answers just yet.

The Dallas Mavericks phenom spoke with reporters following a win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Doncic shot the ball poorly (1-for-7 from deep and 2-for-6 from the free throw line) but hit a long-range bomb from the logo during a crucial moment in the fourth quarter.

“[I’m] more confident [from the logo] than all my 3s and my free throws,” said a baffled Doncic after the game, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I don’t understand how that shot goes in and then all my normal shots can’t go in. I’ve got to work on those normal shots.”

The 22-year-old Doncic entered play on Sunday shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 25.7 percent from deep, and 77.3 percent from the line. With the exception of the free throw numbers, those are all career-lows for Doncic.

Doncic has always been more volume-based than efficiency-based. One top defender recently even called him the toughest player in the NBA to guard. The Mavs are still 4-2 to start despite Doncic’s struggles, so perhaps this is his way of giving the rest of the league a momentary break.

May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during game three between the Clippers and the Mavericks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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