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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Stan Van Gundy criticizes Luka Doncic over poor Game 5 effort

Luka Doncic looks ahead

The Dallas Mavericks’ season was on the line on Thursday night, but you couldn’t really tell that based on how Luka Doncic was playing.

The Mavericks star failed to give great effort during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Doncic went 2/12 in the first half for just six points. But it wasn’t his shooting that was the issue for TNT commentator Stan Van Gundy.

The former NBA coach criticized Doncic over the guard’s poor effort on defense.

“For the second play in a row, Doncic does not run back, Reggie. He’s putting his team at a tremendous disadvantage. Nobody’s expecting him to be a stopper defensively. But you’ve got to give an effort if you’re a team leader,” Van Gundy said to fellow analyst Reggie Miller.

At halftime, TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley echoed Van Gundy’s criticism.

“I’m very disappointed in Luka,” Barkley said during TNT’s halftime show. “He’s not competing.”

Doncic’s play was far from his best, and so was his effort.

Dallas fell behind 3-0 in the series but won Game 4 at home 119-109. The Mavs fell behind by 17 at the half and Golden State extended its lead early in the third quarter. After about 27 minutes of play, Doncic had more turnovers (3) than field goals (2) in the game.

One of Doncic’s weaknesses is his tendency to complain to officials, which hurts his ability to play defense on the other end. That was an issue Van Gundy and Barkley took note of.

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