Real Madrid bounced-back from their first defeat after reeling 7-game win-streak defeat against Baskonia with a big win against Anadolu Efes on January 25th — 87-68.
For top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic, it was another strong game as he scored 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-3 from behind the arc, 4-of-5 from the free throw line, six rebounds, five assists, one turnover and a PIR of 22 in 23 minutes coming off of the bench.
17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, 1-of-3 from behind the arc and 4-of-5 from the free throw line — let’s break it down.
We’ll start, as per usual, with Doncic’s three-point shooting…
1-of-3 from three was Doncic, and while he was unable to follow his strong performance from behind the arc against Baskonia, I still love that he took just three attempts and they were fine attempts — he didn’t chuck/settle as he did earlier in the season.
May as well go through them…only three of them anyways.
Doncic’s first three-point attempt came in the first quarter as Doncic comes off an Edy Tavares screen and he springs into a deep three-pointer which is a tad long:
After a block from Edy Tavares, Doncic collects the ball and heads up the court. Doncic gets a screen from Edy, tries to get inside but is cut off by the defense. Doncic tracks back out behind the three-point line, isn’t initially followed, and Doncic has the space to launch a three-pointer but, again, can’t hit:
Doncic’s one three-pointer came in the third quarter as he is found by Rudy Fernandez and then steps-back into a three-pointer on the wing:
As for the rest of Doncic’s offense (in terms of both makes and attempts) in this game, we saw quite a number of different things from Doncic, highlighting his versatility on the offensive end.
In the post, Doncic backs down the smaller Dogus Balbay, the double/help defense lingers, and Doncic spins away from the rim, fades but can’t hit the J:
Doncic would find fortune with that spin and fade in the second quarter as he gets inside the paint to break out that exact combination:
In transition, Doncic gets from his own half all the way to the rim, unleashing the killer euro-step to cap the play off:
In the third quarter, Facundo Campazzo draws the defense and his pass to Jonas Maciulis take Balbay away from Doncic on the perimeter. Jonas finds Doncic, and Doncic — with the defense scrambling somewhat — fakes off of the three-point line to shed one defender, whips out a beautiful, quick left-to-right change of hands to shed another, gets to the free throw line and flips up a floater:
That’s just a gorgeous play.
Coming off of a Felipe Reyes screen, gets to the paint, stops, drops his shoulder and steps through and puts the little floater:
Again, mixing things up, Doncic grabs the offensive rebound, misses from point-blank range before getting another bite at the cherry which he tucks away:
Doncic got to the free throw line of five occasions — a flash from Jonas at the top of key opens up the driving lane for Doncic, who takes it inside and is hammered from behind to prevent the dunk/a certain two points:
Doncic would draw two more free throws after he splits the trap/double and draws the foul at mid-court with Efes in the bonus:
The detail that’s easy to forget when watching Doncic…this kid has just turned 19 years old — incredible.
Five assists for Doncic in this game as he, as per usual, continues to set-up/find teammates in good positions.
Following an Efes miss, Doncic handles the ball coming the other way as the defense sets up. Doncic — and you could see this developing as it happened — leads the defense one way and no-look passes to Fabien Causeur in the corner. Causeur elects to drive inside the paint and feeds the ball behind the three-point line to Jonas, who hits the three-pointer:
Not a direct assist for Doncic, but he got the move started.
Here, Doncic finds Rudy Fernandez coming off of a screen, Rudy then takes a step-back and cans the three-pointer as the first half winds down:
In a similar fashion in the second half, Doncic finds Jaycee Carroll coming off of a screen and he hits the three:
In the third quarter, Doncic grabs the defensive rebound and sets up with Edy. He gets a screen from Edy, who rolls to the rim, and Doncic finds Tavares with a one-handed bounce-pass for the assist:
Again in the pick-and-roll, Doncic gets near to the rim himself, draws the defense and then drops a pass underneath to the rolling Felipe Reyes for the assist in the fourth quarter:
And, finally, Doncic whips a lovely cross-court pass to Dino Radoncic (yep, Dino actually played in this game) who whips out the beautiful reverse layup:
Doncic’s one turnover came in the third quarter, leading his pass to Tavares just a tad too long:
Tavares was not too happy with the contact as he tried to get through to that pass…
After a bit of a poor outing last time out on the defensive end, it was a better defensive game for Doncic — but still had some ups and downs.
It wasn’t a great start to the game on the defensive end for Doncic, showing little resistance in transition in a 2-vs-1 situation:
This has been a somewhat regular occurrence for Doncic in transition — you’d just like to see him fight a bit more in these situations…
In the third quarter, Doncic gets stuck on a screen somewhat and it leads to an open three-pointer for Zoran Dragic, who knocks it down:
In the corner, having just picked up a foul, Doncic is bumped out of the way slightly on the drive by Dragic to the rim but contests the shot and it results in a miss — a mix of good/bad defense:
Moving onto the more positive stuff defensively, Doncic does a good job getting over/hustling to get over screens in the first quarter before finishing the defensive possession with a good contest on the three-point shot:
Doncic showed a similar effort in the fourth quarter, hustling to get back in front of his man after a screen and continued to be disruptive defensively on a switch, intercepting a pass on the sideline but with his own feet out-of-bounds, meaning possession of the ball remained with Efes:
Unlucky, but good defensive activity: showing the ability to be disruptive with his size and length — in general, his defensive instincts are solid.
In closing vs. Efes…
Another good game from Doncic in a nice bounce-back win for Madrid.
Offensively, Doncic did a good job picking his spots and scored/looked to score in a great variety of ways.
Again, Doncic did a good job not settling overly on his three-point shots and, for once, there wasn’t a late-clock situation where Doncic had to try to bail out Madrid with a basket from three.
From a facilitation point of view, a much better game than the previous outing. Five assists and plenty of other opportunities were created for his teammates, but they just couldn’t hit some of those shots.
Defensively, up and down moments but some really decent defensive activity from Doncic — love to see that.
Nice to see Doncic chain strong back-to-back games.