Luka Doncic admits to weight and fitness issues
Doncic’s weight and conditioning was a recurring topic on the TNT broadcast of the Mavs’ loss 102-99 to Brooklyn Networks Tuesday night. Hall of Famer analyst Reggie Miller criticized Doncic, saying he was “walking the field” and “must back off”.
“People are going to talk about it, yes or no,” said Doncic, who scored 28 points, six rebounds and nine assists in the loss. “I know I have to do better.”
Sources told ESPN that Doncic reported to training camp weighing more than 260 pounds for the second year in a row.
“I’ve had a long summer,” said Doncic, who joined the Slovenian team’s training camp days after Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs, which saw the show finish fourth in its Olympic premiere. “I went to the Olympics, took three weeks off and relaxed a bit. Maybe too much. I have to get back to normal.”
The 22-year-old Doncic, a two-time NBA pick from the first team, has an average age of 25.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists for an 11-12 MAF. While those stats are impressive, they are slightly below their numbers from the previous two seasons, as is Doncic’s 44.4 percent shot from the field.
Doncic’s efforts to improve his conditioning were recently stalled by a sprained left knee and ankle, and simultaneous injuries resulted in him missing three games at the start of the Mavs’ current 2-8 streak. He was ruled out of Saturday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies due to persistent pain in his left ankle, and the Mavs also mentioned an injury to his left thumb on Tuesday’s injury report.
The MAFS are 0-4 in the matches that Doncic missed.
“It still hurts, but I’m trying to play and practice,” Doncic said of the ankle. “But it’s still painful.”