After smashing Barcelona last time out, Real Madrid lost a close encounter with defending champions Fenerbahce in Madrid on March 2nd.
For top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic, it was a bounce back game after a tough outing against Barcelona: 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 1-of-4 from three, 3-of-4 from the free throw line, one rebound, four assists, one steal, three turnovers and a PIR of 17 in 28 minutes coming off of the bench.
Let’s go through it…
14 points for Doncic, let’s go through how he got to those 14 points.
It began with Doncic drawing free throws after getting bumped on the drive:
Not a great foul to give away…
Off of the Fenerbahce turnover, Doncic streaks ahead off-ball and is found by Gustavo Ayon and Doncic does the rest:
What I really liked on this play was that Doncic used the rim to shield the ball from any potential shot blocker. If he had used the other side of the rim, the block would’ve been more realistic if the defender was chasing.
For his only three-pointer of the game, Doncic bides his time before simply takes a dribble to his left and rises into a contested three:
Next, Doncic comes off of the Edy Taveres and gets to the free throw line area where he bumps into the defender behind him before rising into an easy jumper in the paint:
Doncic turned defense into offense as he comes up with a steal, heads down the court and almost (kind of) cradles the ball as he goes by the defender to protect the ball and lays it in:
In one of his best moments in this game, Doncic manages to squeeze between two defenders on the drive and gets to the rim for the score:
Next, Doncic comes off of a Gustavo Ayon screen, gets inside the paint and somehow — again — manages to squeeze himself inside and draws the foul and free throws:
One of the things I didn’t like from Doncic in this game was some of his three-point shot selections.
This first one isn’t too bad, to be fair. Late clock situation and Doncic is basically asked to bail out Madrid after a very poor offensive set but can’t connect on the three:
This next three I’d like to see some offense run before this shot goes up — Doncic ‘dribble-dribble’, tries to create some space against Gigi Datome but the three he launches is contested and misses:
Elsewhere, Doncic’s only turnover of the game occurred in the first quarter as he drives on the switch, drives into the help defender, falls over and loses the ball:
Four assists for Doncic in this game and, as always, there chances created but Doncic was a bit less smooth this game, making a number of blunders/errors.
Things didn’t start well as Doncic checks into the game trailing 12-2 and his first contribution is a turnover as he tries to link with Edy Tavares in a pick-and-roll:
Not long after that, Doncic tried to hook up with Felipe Reyes and commits another turnover as the ball just sails by the hands of Reyes:
In transition, Doncic lifts his pass to Fabien Causeur a little too high for Causeur to handle and it results in a Madrid turnover:
Doncic did eventually get into a groove and set up a number of three-point opportunities.
Heading down the court, Doncic draws the defense as the ball-handler and finds Jeffrey Taylor for a three-point attempt but Taylor is unable to hit:
Another simple play/pass followed as Doncic waits for Rudy Fernandez to come off of the screen for a catch-and-shoot three but Rudy can’t connect:
Heading down the floor again, Doncic spots that Fenerbahce haven’t set up as well as they should and Doncic finds the open Rudy Fernandez in the corner for a three:
A lot later, Doncic picks up the ball following a turnover and finds Anthony Randolph with an outlet pass for the assist:
Not a lot to note here today but what there is to note is pretty good.
Here, Doncic does well to get around the screen to contest the three-pointer but cannot prevent it from going in:
We’ve seen this one already, but Doncic finds himself in position to grab the steal and he heads down the other end for the score:
Finally, Doncic plays some really tight defense on Jan Vesely in the corner and contests the shot, which results in an airball as the shotclock expires:
I lover good vertical defense and this was textbook from Doncic to force a tough shot for a very good player in the EuroLeague in Vesely.
In closing vs Fenerbahce…
An interesting game for Luka Doncic…
Definitely a more offensive game for Doncic than anything else, which is fine since his shooting was efficient overall in this game. In fact, the only shots Doncic missed were three-point attempts — always a good thing.
From a facilitation point of view, Doncic had a rough going of things initially but did eventually get going but his teammates couldn’t always connect on their finds from Doncic.
Defensively, again, nothing huge to note but Doncic has definitely improved on the defensive end throughout the season and this game was a great example of that with a lack of defenive foibles/errors throughout the course of his 28 minutes of action.