Luka Doncic Says Mavericks Have ‘Special’ Team This Season

During an interview with NBA reporter Sam Amick of The Athletic, Luka Doncic said the Dallas Mavericks have a “special” team this season. 

NBA, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Mavericks
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The Mavericks are 45-29. They are in fifth place in the Western Conference standings and have played like an elite team on both ends of the floor since acquiring PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford

“Yeah, of course. Those two guys that we got at the trade deadline, PJ and Gaff, they help us a lot,” Doncic said. “They never complain. They just play hard every play, and they are our two, I think, best defensive guys. We’ve got D. Jones (Derrick Jones Jr.), and everybody plays together. We have a five-man defense, which is very important. The whole team is special, man.”

The Mavericks are sixth in the NBA in points per game, 20th in points per game allowed and 11th in net rating. 

Dallas is fourth in defensive rating since March 7 and 10th since adding Gafford and Washington at the trade deadline.

Doncic is putting up MVP numbers this season. He’s averaging 34.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists while shooting 48.9% from the field, 38.0% from beyond the arc and 78.2% from the free-throw line. 

A five-time All-Star, Doncic is first in the NBA in points, first in points per game, 17th in rebounds, 15th in rebounds per game, third in assists and second in assists per game. 

“I can’t answer that (MVP question),” Doncic said. “That’s for the media. I’m happy we’re winning, man. That’s it. You know I’m not going to answer that question.”

If the regular season ended today, the Mavericks would face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2024 playoffs. 

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, “genuine fondness” exists between Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Dallas acquired Irving from the Brooklyn Nets last season. 

“Multiple team sources indicate that there is a genuine fondness between the stars,” Stein wrote. “One recent example shared with The Stein Line: At a 25th birthday party for Dončić in Toronto last month, Irving was the last Maverick to close down the soirée with Luka at night’s end. One more example: Earlier this week, when the Mavericks held an optional practice for low-minute players to get in some extra work on the morning after another road win in San Antonio, both Irving and Dončić unexpectedly attended the session and played in the pickup games. They clearly enjoy each other’s company.”

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