Real Madrid notched their third straight win as they knocked off of the defending EuroLeague champions, Fenerbahce in Istanbul, 79-77 on December 28th.
Top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic flirted with a triple-double: 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.
20 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-7 from three and 11-of-12 from the free throw line for Doncic in this game.
We’ll start again with the three-point shooting and, again, another poor shooting night from three for Doncic.
Doncic’s shot selection from three hasn’t been great of late. Even in situations where the clock is winding down, the shot selection isn’t good.
After a pick-and-roll with Edy Tavares fails to open anything up for Doncic, he sizes up James Nunnally and settles for a contested three which misses:
With a bit more time on the clock this time, Doncic, again, settles for a shot just isn’t great:
Again on a switch — this time vs. Gigi Datome — Doncic goes to his patented step-back shot but, again, it’s a settled shot and Datome moves and contests well, and the shot misses:
Again, he tries to go one-on-one on a switch with Jan Vesely as the clock winds down but, again, the shot is no good (and he knew it straightaway):
Not all of Doncic’s one-on-one stuff was bad. Here, he pulls up one-on-one and hits the mid-range J:
Despite the make, still an awful lot of dribbling on this possession. If this had missed, it would’ve been seen as a terrible possession (maybe it is already).
There were some three-point attempts that were good shot, they just didn’t go down — like this possession where the Madrid ball movement is crisp but the shot from Doncic at the end of it is just off:
Moving onto to some of Doncic’s makes, he manages to get from basically his own rim to the opposing rim without a lot of resistance:
Nice flash by Jonas Maciulis to take Gigi Datome away, opening up a path for Doncic to drive to the rim. Nice little step inside to open up a much better shot for himself.
On this possession in the second half, Doncic puts on a bit of a dribbling clinic, almost breaking the ankles of Kostas Sloukas before stepping back and hitting the jumper:
And, finally, the three-pointer Doncic did actually hit, in a somewhat of a scramble situation:
Even though he hit this three, it was still a bad shot — it was deep and contested. The fact it went in doesn’t mean it was a good shot, more so a tough shot.
10 assists for Doncic in this game and that has as much to do with Doncic’s teammates making shots consistently than Doncic putting his teammates in those situations — both deserve their fair share of credit for that.
With Doncic inbounding the ball out-of-bounds, he finds Jaycee Carroll who hits the leaning three-pointer:
A simple for pass for Doncic to make as Carroll is freed up by the Reyes screen. Tough shot made by Carroll.
Again coming out of bounds, Doncic finds Carroll — again, coming off of a Reyes screen — who takes a step inside and loops home a floater:
Again, that’s a very nice shot made by Carroll there.
Doncic also did a good job creating opportunities for others out of the pick-and-roll.
On this possession, he links up with Reyes for a screen and roll, Reyes slips the screen instead, Doncic finds Reyes down the pipe and Reyes makes a tough basket:
That’s a tough basket made by Reyes there. These shots from Doncic’s teammates haven’t always gone in but they did in this game — everyone seemed to be in rhythm in the first half and that’s where most of Doncic’s assists came.
Off of a pick-and-roll with Edy Tavares, Doncic drives hard to his right — collapsing the defense in the process — and then finds Edy for the dunk:
The opportunity for Doncic to drive inside was really opened up by the down screen made by Maciulis, and Doncic does the rest from there.
Doncic connected with Trey Thompkins on a number of occasions, here was one of them as he finds Thompkins for three after the screen and fade:
A good way to end the first half.
Doncic hooked up with Thompkins again in the second half, weighing this pass up perfectly as Thompkins slips the screen and establishes position:
Not the easiest pass to make over the defense but good jobs by both Doncic and Thompkins to link up for this basket.
As always, it seems, some good moments and bad moments defensively from Doncic.
It wasn’t the greatest start though, as Doncic is kind of no where on this defensive sequence, just kind of stands and watches as Fenerbahce get a shot up:
It didn’t result in a score for Fenerbahce but it was not great defense from Doncic.
Later in the second quarter, Doncic is caught ball-watching while his man cuts backdoor and makes a layup after receiving the pass:
These lapses in concentration aren’t frequent with Doncic but can happen every now and then.
In the late exchanges in the fourth quarter, Doncic has position established on him in the deep post and is scored on:
For all that Doncic struggled defensively — which really wasn’t much — there were positives.
On this possession, Doncic busts a gut and gets around the various screens that Fenerbahce try to impede him with and contests the shot well and results in a miss:
In the second quarter, Doncic initially gets caught up on a screen but recovers well to contest the shot:
In the fourth quarter, Doncic looked as though me might be in trouble in the post but he reaches around and pokes the ball free, resulting in a steal:
In closing @ Fenerbahce…
An excellent game from Doncic, his PIR of 37 reflects fairly his impact on this game.
But again, offensively, you’d like to see him dial back those three-point attempts — 1-of-7 in this one and 2-of-13 in his last two games. Doncic does just settle at times, even if the clock is nearing zero: there’s usually a better shot to be worked if it’s actually worked — it just isn’t always worked.
I said a few games ago that Doncic would’ve had 10 assists if his teammates had just hit some more of those good looks Doncic had created — this was that game. His teammates were knocking down shots consistently off of his feeds — especially in the first half.
Defensively, he was worked at times and that’s to be expected by one of the better opponents in EuroLeague but, as always, there were some good moments too.
Playing well and coming out against a very good team with a win can only bolster Doncic’s draft stock…