Mavericks’ Luka Doncic admits his conditioning needs to be better: ‘I just gotta get back on track’ – CBSSports.com

The Dallas Mavericks suffered their the third straight loss Tuesday night when they fell to the Brooklyn Nets 102-99, marking the team’s eighth loss in the last 10 games. Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic put up 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the loss, a statline that’s to be expected from him. But during the broadcast of the game on TNT, one topic of conversation brought up by analyst Reggie Miller was Doncic’s weight and conditioning. “To me, looking at him, this is the heaviest I’ve probably ever seen Luka look, right now,” said Miller, via the Dallas Morning News. “And I know he’s had a long year with the Olympics, but look how he’s plodding up and down. He’s not really running.” After play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan agreed that Doncic looked “a little heavier,” Miller continued: “You have the keys to the kingdom if you’re Doncic, right? And he is a superstar. A superstar in the making already. But he could be so much better. And he will get better. But to me, he’s got to trim down. He really does. And he’s got to get better defensively, as well.” CBS Sports HQ Newsletter Your Ultimate Guide to Every Day in Sports We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge. By submitting my email I agree to receive the “CBS Sports HQ Newsletter” and other marketing and promotional emails from CBS Sports, which may include information from our affiliates and/or partners’ offers, products and services. For more information about our data practices consult our Privacy Policy See All Newsletters Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe. Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox. Sorry! There was an error processing your subscription. After the game, Doncic was asked about his conditioning to which the two-time All-NBA guard admitted needed to improve.”I think that’s my thing. People are going to talk about it, yes or no, but I know I gotta do better,” Doncic said. “I had a long summer, I think I relaxed a little bit, not taking care, but I gotta be better. I had a long summer. I had the Olympics, took three weeks off and then I said I relaxed a little bit, maybe too much, and I just gotta get back on track.” The topic of Doncic’s weight and conditioning dates back to the start of 2019-20, when he admitted he wasn’t in his best shape, in part because of the sudden start of the season due to the pandemic, which threw him off his training schedule. Doncic has reportedly entered training camp for the last two seasons weighing more than 260 pounds, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, but his listed weight on the Mavericks’ game notes is 230 pounds.The extra weight Doncic is carrying has impacted him at the start of the season for the second straight year. Although he’s still averaging 25.5 points, 8.5 assists and eight rebounds, he’s shooting just 44 percent from the field — the lowest since his rookie season — and 32.5 percent from deep. It also doesn’t help that he’s missed four games so far this season due to a left knee and ankle sprain, limiting his ability to improve his conditioning consistently. Injuries aside, Doncic should be entering the season in better shape, especially considering how important he is to Dallas’ success. In the four games Doncic has been sidelined this season, the Mavericks went 0-4, showing just how invaluable he is to this team on offense. For the fourth straight season he leads the league in usage percentage among guards, as Doncic is at the center of everything the Mavericks do on offense. If he’s not operating at peak performance because of his conditioning and weight, then that’s a problem for Dallas. However, the silver lining in all of this is that history tells us Doncic’s conditioning won’t be a problem as the season carries on. Despite starting slow last season as well, the Slovenian guard still made First Team All-NBA, and nearly carried the Mavericks past the first round of the playoffs in a thrilling seven-game series against the Los Angeles Clippers. So while it’s an issue for the Mavericks right now, it could become less of a problem as they move deeper into the season.    

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