Real Madrid notched their fifth straight win as they exacted revenge on Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv on January 5th, 93-81.
For top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic, it was a mixed game: 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-5 from three, 4-of-6 from the free throw line, three rebounds, four assists, two steals, three turnovers and a PIR of 12 in just 20 minutes coming off of the bench.
Not the greatest offensive game in terms of scoring for Doncic: 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-5 from three and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
Let’s start with the, again, disappointing three-point shooting.
To be fair, it’s really 1-of-4 from three as Doncic attempted a full court heave at the end of the first half which, you know, isn’t a shot taken in normal circumstances.
Outside of that, it was the usual attempt or two in late clock situations, such as this possession where the ball finds its way to Doncic behind the three-point line after a block and Doncic has to rush it up as the clock winds down:
In the fourth quarter, again, late clock situation, and Doncic is asked to bail Madrid out as their offense gets stuck but Doncic is unable to make something out of nothing as he misses the deep three:
Again, late clock — not for a three-pointer this time (just illustrate how many of these shots are coming in bad situations) — but Doncic is asked to make something happen and his contested two-pointer is missed, following a good contest by Tel Aviv:
Those are shots that Doncic can only do so much with in late clock situations where Madrid go ‘Here, Luka, bail us out.’ Doncic does settle somewhat in these situations but there’s not a lot he can really do.
The shots that Doncic himself can improve on are these type of shots where it’s a deep shot with some sort of contest that affects the shot:
It was open but it was fairly deep at the same time and Doncic has not been making these shots of late — perhaps those need to be dialled in.
As for the one three Doncic did make… He runs off of a screen, hesitates when he does receive the ball — allowing the defender to get back in front of him in position to contest — but eventually rises and uses his superior size to hit the three over the defender:
Elsewhere on the offensive end, Doncic struggled hit much else.
Here, Doncic tries to turn the corner off of the pick-and-roll but Tel Aviv throw bodies at Doncic, making progression difficult. Doncic eventually steps into a runner but it’s blocked and Tel Aviv gathers the rebound:
As for some of Doncic’s makes, he had this nice play where he took the ball nearly full court, pulled up just after the free throw line and hits the runner:
Not the best bit of defending, it must be said…
Coming off of an Edy Tavares screen, Doncic gets inside but is cut off by the defense. Doncic — on the move — rises, displays nice hang time and hits the runner:
Doncic got to the free throw line on six occasions in this game, and a good chunk of these came when fouls were committed by Tel Aviv when Madrid were in the bonus.
Not a good foul but there were two of Doncic’s six free throw attempts right there.
Four assists for Doncic in this game… Doncic hooked up with Edy Tavares on a number of occasions in the pick-and-roll.
Here, Edy does a nice job slipping the screen at the last second, spins to the rim and Doncic finds him for the dunk:
In the fourth quarter, Doncic connects with Edy with a lovely one-handed lob pass for the oop:
That pass is a thing of beauty…so elegant looking.
On the next offensive possession for Madrid, Tel Aviv show off of the Doncic-Tavares pick-and-roll and Doncic, again, finds Tavares with a one-handed pass inside, and Edy finishes with a dunk:
It wasn’t all roses when it came to Doncic and Tavares though. They attempt to link up in the third quarter but Doncic has the ball stripped and it leads to a turnover:
Tel Aviv didn’t try show as aggressively on pick-and-rolls involving Doncic as they did in their first meeting but they did so on a few occasions in this game, this being one of them in the second quarter as Doncic tries to make a pass inside and commits the turnover:
Doncic’s third turnover came in showtime gone wrong as he raises this lob too high for Jeffrey Taylor:
We don’t see much showboating from Doncic but on this occasion when showtime came out it went wrong.
As per usual, there were ups and downs for Doncic on the defensive end.
We’ll start with the downs…
On this possession, Doncic was a little eager to bite on a potential shot and then elects not to contest the shot as it goes up:
Luckily for Doncic, the shot is no good on this occasion.
On this defensive possession, Doncic is a little indecisive when it comes to shading over defensively, moving away at the last second, and it leads to a Tel Aviv score:
In the second quarter, DeAndre Kane is able to skip by Doncic with ease off of the dribble and score at the rim:
These weren’t major defensive foibles but noteworthy nevertheless…
Moving onto the more positive defensive stuff, Doncic busts out the nice hustle to save the ball from going out of bounds and Felipe Reyes is on hand to score on the other end:
After committing a turnover in the third quarter, Doncic doesn’t give up on the play in transition and comes up with this block, only to see another Tel Aviv player follow it home, undoing Doncic’s good work:
Doncic hurt his hand during this play and would have it looked at later on but did continue to play.
In closing vs. Tel Aviv
An up-and-down game for Doncic.
Thankfully for Madrid, they didn’t need a 20 point, eight assist game from Doncic as they were able to pull out a win that definitely more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.
Doncic struggled from the field and from three but, as always, showed he has other ways of being involved in a game.
With regards to passing/playmaking, he did what he could but Doncic definitely seemed to be planted more off-ball in this game than previous games.
Defensively, up and down as usual but in general Doncic was fine. Nothing major to really speak about.
For Luka Doncic it might have been a so-and-so game for his high standards (can’t be 20-7-6 every game) but still a solid contribution as Madrid continue to roll.