Real Madrid notched their third win in a row as they knocked off Brose Bamberg in Bamberg, Germany on December 21st.
For top draft prospect Luka Doncic, he managed to stay on the court a while longer this time (ejected in this last outing) but didn’t fare too much better on the scoreline: seven points on 2-of-8 shooting, 1-of-6 from three, 2-of-2 from the free throw line but did grab five rebounds, dished out eight assists, came up with two steals, committed three turnovers and had a PIR of 14 in 24 minutes.
Doncic, again, came off of the bench and didn’t play in the third quarter as the game turned into a blowout, the game not requiring extensive minutes from him in the third (Doncic did play through most of the fourth quarter though).
Not the greatest offensive game for Doncic in terms of scoring: just seven points (all coming in the first on 2-of-8 shooting and 2-of-6 from behind the arc.
Doncic didn’t look for his own shot much in the fourth quarter (again, having not played in the third) with the game already wrapped up and in the bag — so the majority of his offensive work was done in the first half.
We’ll start with the three-pointers, because there were a lot of them… Six attempts and just one make…
A good number of these involved Doncic coming off of an Edy Tavares screen.
Edy actually slips this pick-and-roll somewhat and Doncic steps back into a three that misses:
Doncic had better fortunes with the step-back just moments later, as he pulls up, steps back and hits his only three of the game:
Again coming off of an Edy screen — and off of a Bamberg miss as the defense sets up — Doncic gets a good look at a three but, again, it’s no good:
Coming out of bounds, Doncic comes off the Felipe Reyes screen and takes a deep three which misses:
We know Doncic can hit from out there but that’s just not a shot I enjoy seeing, and certainly don’t enjoy it when it happens on more than one occasion:
I know the clock was winding down, but even then I think there’s a better look to be had if Doncic had searched for it — definitely settled on this one.
Moving onto the other field goal Doncic made…it was a nice one: a floater at the free throw line after he gets around Hickman:
I do love me some good floaters…
A little more to talk about here: eight assists for Doncic but, I have to say, I think the scorekeepers might have been a bit generous when it came to this — there was only a few clear-cut assists…
Bamberg tried to extend some pressure on Doncic in pick-and-rolls in the earlier phases of this game, and Doncic finds Fabien Causeur in the corner for a three-pointer:
Doncic, as has been the norm in these situations, remains calm once the defensive pressure is extended and finds/makes the right play.
Tavares and Doncic link up in the pick-and-roll game and Tavares makes a beautiful roll to the rim and is found by Doncic for the score, plus the foul:
More action ‘over-the-top’ of the defense, as such, as Doncic pops an entry pass over the defense to Jonas Maciulis for the score:
Maciulis had a lot to do when he received that ball, great finish by him.
And finally (for today), Doncic slips this nice bounce-pass to — the impressive in this game — Trey Thompkins for an ‘and-1’:
Really enjoyed how Doncic made this pass while on the move himself: shows great vision and feel. Of course, we already know that Doncic’s IQ is very high…
We’ll start with the good from this game, defensively.
On this possession, Doncic does a good job standing his ground and not allowing the penetration before following up with a good contest on the shot:
Again on this next clip, Doncic does a good job sliding his feet and prevents the baseline penetration, forcing the opponent to pass out:
That was the good, however…
Doncic found himself worked defensively by Daniel Hackett on a number of occasions.
Not quite worked by Hackett specifically on this play, but Doncic gets caught under a screen and Hackett is the beneficiary as he hits the open three:
As Hackett comes up the floor — near the three-point line — he gets physical with Doncic and the resulting bump sends Doncic off course, leaving Hackett to rise into an open three:
I don’t think Doncic is weak but I think he was surprised by the contact made by Hackett, and it sent him off balance.
And, lastly, Hackett beats Doncic off of the dribble — while also getting around the help in Maciulis — for the score at the basket:
That’s a sweet move by Hackett, it must be said. What also must be said is that Hackett is also a bit more nimble than Doncic, the kind of players Doncic has troubles defending at times.
In closing @ Bamberg…
Not the best game from Doncic in this one but he didn’t need to be at his best for Madrid to pick up the convincing win.
You would like to see him dial back the three-point attempts — it’s becoming more and more apparent that the three is a shot Doncic can hit but he’s not a knockdown three-point shooter — not yet, at least.
Though he didn’t score 1,000 points, again, Doncic contributes in other ways, like his eight assists… Again, just making those around him better, or giving them the opportunity to do so.
Defensively, he was worked by Hackett somewhat but did have some good moments too, as we’ve come to expect from Doncic — he seems to generally even out but I think he was worked a bit by Hackett on this occasion…
This was also, I’m assuming, one of the very few times where Doncic has not led his team in PIR. Even on the bad shooting nights, he normally comes out on top in terms of PIR but not this time — that honour went to Trey Thompkins with a PIR 22. Even Edy Tavares posted a higher PIR of 19.
Can’t win them all but Real Madrid won the game, and that’s all that will matter to Luka Doncic…