Mavs Notes: Doncic, Tanking, Disaster Season, League Standing

The escalating in-game complaints of Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic have grown so distracting that even he has acknowledged he needs to get them under control, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Townsend wonders if Doncic will actually adjust his whining to referees at some point, a potentially essential tweak to a game that otherwise is one of the most exciting in the NBA.

Doncic was recently assessed what would have been his 16th technical foul this season in a Sunday defeat against the Hornets. A 16th tech would have warranted an automatic suspension, but the NBA intervened and rescinded the call.

Doncic’s complaints certainly have not helped his team win many games of late. Dallas has struggled since offloading two starters, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, for one injury-prone All-Star in Kyrie Irving. The Mavericks own a 9-13 record with Irving on the team, though injuries to both of the team’s All-Star guards have limited their availability during that stretch.

There’s more out of Dallas:

  • The 37-39 Mavericks have fallen from being a top-four seed in the West to the conference’s current No. 11 seed. Dallas owes a top-10-protected 2023 lottery pick to the Knicks. Tanking to preserve the selection might be the savviest move at this juncture, contends Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
  • The Mavs’ miserable second half is shedding light on major underlying issues in Dallas, posits Tim Cato of The Athletic. Beyond the personal problems Doncic recently alluded to, the team is sorely missing the three-guard attack and consistent defensive buy-in that helped it reach the Western Conference Finals last season.
  • Two blowout losses to an injury-depleted, rebuilding Hornets club have officially made the Mavericks the NBA’s biggest disappointment this year, writes Marc Stein in a new Substack piece.
View Comments (14)