The Dallas Mavericks were pummeled by the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, leading to questions about the team’s lack of urgency amid the race for the NBA Playoffs. Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic himself seems to be puzzled by their seemingly relaxed mindset.
On paper, the Mavericks are the better team against the Kings, yet they didn’t seem hungry enough to claim the victory, losing, 121-107. Per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, Doncic had no clue as to what was going on with their team when asked about their apparent lack of motivation in trying to avoid the play-in tournament.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I honestly don’t know.
From Doncic’s point of view, this lack of energy has been going on for several games now. The Mavericks, who now have a 30-26 record for seventh place in the Western Conference, have lost five of their last seven games. For Doncic, everything starts from him.
“We didn’t come out hard. That’s what happens a couple of games now. Me the first guy, I’ve got to do way better. We’ve got to play way harder. I’ve got to play way harder. It starts with me, so I’ve got to do way better.”
The obvious goal for the Mavericks is to move up to the sixth spot to avoid participating in the play-in tournament, where they run the risk of not even advancing to the postseason. As such, Luka Doncic’s frustration is understandable. They need to do better with less than 20 games left in the regular season.