The Dončić Dossier Vol. 24 — vs. Fenerbahce Dogus


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.

The Dončić Dossier Vol 23 — @ Barcelona Lassa


Real Madrid got back winning ways after they absolutely smashed rivals Barcelona in their own house 101-74 on February 23rd.

For top NBA prospect Luka Doncic, it was a strange night. Doncic came off the bench sporting a sleeve on his left arm and only played 15 minutes, scoring 2 points, shooting 1-of-7 from the field, 0-of-4 from three, six assists, four rebounds, one turnover and a PIR of just 3.

This won’t be too long but still things to go over as always…

(Apologies for the lacking video quality this week, just how things went…)


A difficult night for Doncic offensively and, again, the three-point shooting wasn’t there.

In the second quarter, Doncic puts on a dribble clinic, eventually steps back and rises into a three but misses:

Very shortly after that, Doncic works himself into the corner with the dribble, floats behind the three-pointer, rises but, again, misses the three-pointer:

Doncic made sure he made up for lost time coming off of the bench and he launched another three-pointer a few minutes after that last one, this time coming in a late clock situation as some good Barcelona defense makes this attempt a tough one for Doncic:

Very good Barcelona defense, actually…

On the wing, Doncic again settles for an outside/bad shot with 15 seconds left on the shotclock:

Doncic struggled to get anything going inside the three-point line.

Here, Doncic weaves his way to the free throw line, rises into a jumper but can’t get the shot to fall:

Even the one shot Doncic made came off of his own miss, tipping in the rebound:

And to sum it up, Doncic drives inside with nowhere to go and ends up turning the ball over and committing the foul:


Here’s where Doncic made his biggest impact of the game, with his apparent injury clearly affecting him offensively.

Here, Doncic feeds Reyes in the post with the deep bounce-pass, and Reyes takes care of the rest:

In transition, Doncic makes this nice outlet pass to Gustavo Ayon (making his long-awaited return) but Ayon is rejected at the rim:

In the second quarter, a bit of a more flashy touch from Doncic as he delivers the flashy bounce-pass to Felipe Reyes in transition for the assist:

Reyes and Doncic hooked up on multiple occasions in this game and did so again in the third quarter as Doncic lifts this pass inside to Reyes who finishes the play with the turnaround J:

One of Doncic’s better plays came in the fourth quarter as he draws a crowd (three defenders) as he pushes in transition and finds Reyes on the move for the layup:

Of course, Reyes wasn’t the only teammate Doncic hooked up with for buckets as he finds Fabien Causeur on the drive and kick for the three-pointer in the weak-side corner:

And for the play of the game, in a ‘welcome back’ kind of moment for Gustavo Ayon, Doncic hooks up with Ayon for the ally-oop:

As soon as Ayon turned, Doncic lifted the oop skywards — great feel/vision for the game to make that play.


Only two things to talk about defensively…

Doncic played this defensive possession well as he shows good defensive activity from full court before committing a bad foul and being subsequently yanked afterwards:

Not a good way to give a team some free throws…

Doncic showed some better defensive play as he did a good job chasing around these screens, getting himself back into the defensive play:

Good defense from Ayon too on the show…

In closing @ Barcelona…

Not a ton to say here…just one of those games for Doncic.

He definitely seemed bothered by his injury but was still able to make things happen when it came to getting others involved with those six assists — Felipe Reyes being the big beneficiary in this game.

Just 15 minutes played, struggling from the field…yeah… There’s nothing to say here for this game.

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 22 — vs. Olympiacos


Real Madrid lost their second game in a row as they narrowly fell to Olympiacos 80-79 in Madrid on February 9th.

For top NBA prospect Luka Doncic, he enjoyed one of his best scoring games of the season as he went off for 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, 1-of-6 from three, 10-of-15 from the line, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one turnover, one block and a PIR of 33 (!!) in 33 minutes of play in his first start since Round 11.


This is where we’re going to spend the majority of time today, so let’s go over how Doncic got to his 27 points and we’ll look at some of the negative stuff afterwards.

Doncic hit 7 of his 8 two-point attempts and here’s how he got himself on the board as he rejects the screen, gets inside, fades and hits the shot as he falls over:

Liked how Doncic was able to weave between/inside the defenders and the degree of difficulty in the finish is fairly high…

From the perimeter, Doncic again drives inside, fades and hits the shot:

Off of one leg too…

Again on the drive, Doncic decides to pull-up on this occasion and hits the mid-range J:

From the opposite side — similar to what we’ve seen already — Doncic again drives inside, pulls up just after the free throw line and hits the jumpshot:

Next, Doncic makes a great cut (selling the defender faking one way before going another), gets the ball and makes the layup and the foul:

Love the misdirection on this play by Doncic.

For his one three-pointer of the game, Doncic catches the ball after the drive and pass by Jeffrey Taylor, goes to right, steps back and hits the three:

In what was probably his best play of the game, Doncic unleashes a killer cross and the quick change of direction leads to a score at the score at the rim:

In transition, Doncic is leading the pack off-ball, then receives the ball and fakes at the rim to shed the defender for the easy score:

Doncic got to the free throw on 15 occasions in this game, we’ll look at a few instances of him getting to the line.

Doncic drew free throws when driving to the rim often, as he did here near the end of the first quarter:

On a switch this time as the 3rd quarter ticks to close, Doncic gets to the rim where he draws the foul and free throws:

One of my favourite fouls that Doncic drew came late in the fourth when he put a big on a switch on skates, dribble-drives past him and draws the foul:

Doncic drew at least six fouls in the fourth quarter alone — mostly on drives — and once in transition. He shot 10-of-15, and you’d like to see more than that made but Doncic was fairly tired in this game and most of his missed free throws were short.

Even though you’d like to see Doncic shoot maybe 12/13 out of 15, the fact he drew 15 free throws was still mightily impressive.

Alright, let’s move on to some of the not-so-good parts of Doncic’s offense this game…

You might have guessed but we have to talk three-point shooting.

Doncic shot 1-of-6 from three and a number of these attempt were not great.

In the first quarter, Doncic receives the ball, declines to take the immediate opportunity, takes a dribble and settles for a tough, contested three which misses:

Here, Doncic sizes up his defender on a switch and takes a step-back, contested three-pointer which misses:

There was one situation where a late shotclock situation forced Doncic’s hand somewhat but the shot taken is extremely difficult:

The three-point shooting is kind of a trip back to earlier in the season where Doncic settled often from behind the arc — about the only stain on Doncic’s offensive game.

That and, well, Doncic’s attempt to win the game for Madrid — just unable to break down the defense, falls over and has to pass it off and Madrid lose the game:


Doncic was a bit more in ‘score-first’ mode (whether that was related to him finally starting again, I don’t know) but a few things to show nevertheless…

In one of the few pick-and-rolls Doncic ran this game, he squeezes a pass to Taylor on the weak-side corner for a made three-pointer:

In another pick-and-roll with Edy Tavares, Doncic finds another shooter in the form of Trey Thompkins for a three-pointer on the second attempt having tried to link up with Thompkins:

Doncic linked up with Thompkins again, drawing the defense on the little drive, opening an opportunity for Thonpkins who misses the three:

On the drive this time, Doncic does indeed get inside, turns, finds Fabien Causeur for a three-point attempt but, again, it’s missed:

Here, Doncic finds Thompkins inside the arc this time with a beautiful drop-pass (seeing the play develop in front of him) to the cutting Thompkins, who muscles his way to the rim and hits the layup plus the foul:

There were a few possessions where Doncic put his teammates into good positions but they declined to take the shot available — or stepped out-of-bounds as Jeffrey Taylor did here after Doncic found him in transition:

In transition, Facundo Campazzo leads the charge, finds Doncic who fakes a three, drives a bit and finds Campazzo in the corner who elects not to take the three-point shot, choosing to drive and drawing the foul:


The usual ‘some good things, some bad things’ for Doncic on the defensive end.

Let’s start with some of the mishaps…

Here, he’s beaten by the dribble and Edy has to rotate over to cut off the danger and has to commit the foul, leading to free throws:

On this possession, Doncic is caught ball-watching somewhat and rotates too late as the help defender as the offensive player gets to the rim before dumping it off to Doncic’s man for the score:

On the offensive rebound for Olympiacos, you’d like to see Doncic contest this shot:

Again, I am probably nitpicking somewhat but, hey, worth pointing out anyways… Now for the good/better stuff.

Doncic may not have contested that last clip well but he did a much better job contesting this three-point shot which missed:

Again, a good contest (this time from a standstill) from Doncic but the shot still goes in:

He had better luck a little later, forcing a miss after another good contest:

Here, Doncic showcases his ability and versatility to switch on the defensive end, doing so on multiple occasions before Felipe Reyes commits the foul:

Here, Doncic comes over as the help defender to challenge and disrupt this shot at the rim, forcing the miss:

More disruptive defense from Doncic as he shades over to disrupt the pass and forces the turnover:

And finally, some good baseline, on-ball defense to prevent the penetration and Doncic forces the pass:

In closing vs. Olympiacos…

A very good game from Luka Doncic.

More of a focused effort on his own scoring and less facilitation to his teammates than usual but with how efficient he was inside the three-point line, I don’t think you can complain.

You’d obviously like to see the three-point attempts reigned in a bit but this was the first game in a while where Doncic has settled to this degree from the outside, to be fair.

From the free throw line, you’d obviously like to see maybe 12/13 out of 15 rather than 10 but he did look quite tired while taking some and a number of them were short. Again, the fact he got to the line 15 times is impressive to begin with.

For the game itself, disappointing for Madrid that Doncic couldn’t make something happen to win the game but if Madrid and Doncic had made their free throws (17-of-27) it wouldn’t have had to come to that… But, alas…

Defensively, again, more good than bad — few mental lapses but nothing that really worries me at the next level.

(Writing this the day after Real Madrid actually won the EuroLeague title against Fenerbahce and a few days after Luka Doncic won EuroLeague MVP. Incredible stuff.)

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 21 — @ CSKA Moscow


After winning last time out against Efes, a major tilt between EuroLeague heavyweights Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow took place in Moscow on February 1st, with CSKA — behind a 33-11 first quarter — winning out in the end 93-87 as Madrid’s fourth quarter comeback ultimately fell short.

For top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic, it was one of his strongest games since the early stages of the EuroLeague season as he scored 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, shot 2-of-5 from three, 5-of-9 from the line, five rebounds, five assists, three steals, four turnovers and a game-high PIR of 23 in 30 minutes off of the bench.


Obviously a strong outing in this department with those 21 points and Doncic scored his 21 points in a variety of ways, as you might expect.

After a slow start to the game, Doncic finally got on the board as he drives from the three-point line all the way to the rim for the basket:

I liked the very brief fake left before the drive going to his right, think it really helped make this play possible…

We’ll stick to Doncic going to the rim.

Coming off of the screen/flash at the top of the key (hard to tell, given the feed…), Doncic gets a good head of steam heading toward the rim before rising (as the defender continues to back-pedal) and displaying some lovely hang-time as he hits the one-handed runner off of the glass and home:

After Madrid come up with the block on the defensive end, Doncic grabs the ball and sets off in transition, using the euro-step to finish off the offensive move as he scores at the rim:

Beautiful euro-step to beat the defense…

In the fourth quarter, Doncic gets downhill after a screen and gets to rim where he unleashes some of that sneaky athleticism as he dunks the ball and draws the foul:

Though, Doncic would miss the free throw (missing four of them on the night, which is pretty rare for him), it provides a nice segue for free throws that Doncic drew whilst getting to the rim/on the drive.

Off of the dribble, Doncic drives inside, again displays some nice hang-time as he draws the foul at the rim from Will Clyburn, resulting in two free throws:

This clip is also a great example of Doncic struggling somewhat to get by with his pace (doesn’t have that elite burst/quickness) but he has a good frame and is able to fend off the challenge as he drives.

In transition again we see a bit of the flair that Doncic brings as he firstly grabs the rebound, goes behind his back with the ball, gets to the paint and draws the foul and free throws:

Speaking of other ways of scoring in the paint, Doncic operated in the post on a couple of occasions, managing to score on this possession as he backs down — single coverage — spins and beautiful footwork puts Doncic in a great position to score and he does so:

I love how Doncic positioned himself as he spun. Watch it again, and look at his left heel/foot, how it’s positioned when he spins and how it kind of helps seal off the on-ball defender.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Doncic at the rim/on the drive…

In the first quarter, Doncic waves off/rejects the screen from Edy Tavares, tries to get in on his own, is unable to do so and settles for a tough, contested jumpshot which misses:

In this next clip, Doncic is able to get inside this time after a Trey Thompkins screen but takes a difficult, contested shot (off-balance somewhat, unnaturally positioned) at the rim and misses:

After coming up with the steal from a loose dribble, Doncic heads the other way in transition. He gets to the free throw line area, rises, has the ball stripped/deflected on the way up and ends up being clattered into as he tries to recover the ball, leading to a sore landing and a turnover that leads to a CSKA basket:

Again off of the dribble, Doncic is able to get inside and a look at the rim but his floater is short on this occasion:

In the post, Doncic looks to pass out of the post but his pass is a little too long and it results in a turnover:

A bit of a more general play, but Doncic commits the very rare travel turnover in the third quarter:

Finishing off the offensive portion of this breakdown with the three-point shooting for a change as Doncic shot 2-of-5 from three.

Really, this is 2-of-4 from three, as one of those attempts was a half-court heave at the end of the first quarter — it obviously counts, but you know…

In the third quarter, Doncic gets inside, is unable to progress, passes out of the paint, receives the ball again, fakes the three to free up space and then hits the open three:

Later in the quarter, Doncic successfully connects on the catch-and-shoot three, set-up by Jaycee Carroll in transition:

As for his misses, this first one involved Doncic attempting to connect from deep but the shot is off-line:

And, finally, Doncic and Rudy Fernandez work a nice two-man game and it eventually ends with Doncic attempting a three-pointer which misses:


Five assists for Doncic in this one, let’s go through some…

Even though Doncic had issues with his own offense in the first quarter, he was able to link up with Edy Tavares, as the CSKA shows an extra body to Doncic off of the pick-and-roll, leaving Edy more open than he normally would be. Doncic finds Edy with an overhead pass for the assist and the score for Edy at the rim:

We know Doncic is an unselfish player, and he continues to demonstrate that as he turns down a shot he could’ve taken himself to find Jeffrey Taylor, who makes the extra pass to Fabien Causeur for a three-pointer:

In the second quarter, Doncic finds the cutting Jonas Maciulis for another assist at the rim (hey, guess what CSKA Moscow allowed a lot of in this game):

That’s a really nice play and good awareness from Doncic to see the play develop and then execute the play.

One of Doncic’s more impressive plays of the night was this near full-court outlet pass to Anthony Randolph, who scores the quick-break:


More link-up wit Edy, this time in the pick-and-roll the lob is set up and as Edy goes to catch he’s fouled, drawing free throws:

Doncic set up a number of three-point opportunities for his teammates, this one to Trey Thompkins coming late in the game as Doncic collapses the defense after a screen before finding Thompkins for three:

A very simple play, a pass to Rudy Fernandez in the corner for a three-pointer but Rudy is unable to connect:

Nice snap pass to the fair…

And, finally, Doncic probes in the second quarter before setting up Anthony Randolph in the corner for a the long two-point attempt but Randolph can’t convert:


Some pretty good defensive activity in this game from Doncic — definitely more good than bad.

Doncic came up with three steals in this game, and the zone defense of Real Madrid certainly helped with one of these.

Here, Doncic is on-hand to intercept the pass to the wing and comes up with the steal:

Sergio Rodriguez also attempting a no-look pass will also contribute in leading to a turnover…

In a wild sequence Doncic, again, is in the right place at the right time and is able to intercept this pass on the baseline and come up with another steal. He then tries to set up a lob for Anthony Randolph which goes horribly wrong, then tries to stick home the shot at the rim after the pass from Randolph and misses:

We saw this in an earlier clip, but Doncic is able to pick up the loose ball and set off the other way but ended up leading to a turnover:

Here, Doncic allows Othello Hunter to get in front of him but Doncic is able to break up the attempted lob to him, knocking the ball out of his hands and Madrid come up with the ball:

Here, Doncic uses his length to contest the three-pointer which is off-line:

Some more good defensive activity from Doncic as works to get back in front of his man after the screen and using his length to contest and finish the defensive play as the shot misses:

Moving onto some of the defensive foibles from Doncic in this game…we’ll start by blending both good and bad.

Here, Doncic displays some decent defensive activity to stay in front of his man, then switches onto the big underneath the basket but doesn’t complete the defensive play — you’d like to see Doncic contest that shot:

Doncic gets a taste of his own medicine in the post as he’s undone by a spin move by Othello Hunter, which leads to a basket and a foul as Doncic fouls on the way:

And finally, Doncic strayed a little too far from his man and was a little late to close-out and contest this three-point attempt by Nikita Kurbanov, who hits the three in the corner:

Possibly a by-product of the Madrid zone defense…

In closing @ CSKA…

Obviously a strong game for Doncic. He was inserted into the game when Madrid were already up against it (down 15-5 which became 17-5 within the first few seconds he was on the court). This has happened once or twice already this season (Madrid chasing a game in the first quarter before bringing in Doncic), and going forward, Doncic would be inserted into the starting lineup.

For this game, he struggled to get going in the first quarter but eventually got into the swing of things, finding success in getting to the rim/into the paint for scoring opportunities. 5-of-9 from the line is disappointing but it’s about the only thing you can really fault Doncic in this game.

In terms of facilitation, bang on as always from Doncic — you know what you’re getting at this stage. Would’ve liked to have seen a bit more pick-and-roll with Doncic as the ball-handler but alas…

Defensively, a good game from Doncic. A couples of little things that I’m nitpicking at but in general he was solid against what is arguably the best team in Europe (favourites in their upcoming Final Four game against Madrid in Moscow as I write this, that game is on the 18th of May).

That game will have to wait until another time but for now, a strong game by Doncic against one of Europe’s elite.

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 20 — Vs. Anadolu Efes

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:

So beautiful.

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.

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 19 — @ Unicaja Malaga


Real Madrid’s seven game winning streak finally came to an end as they fell short on the road against Malaga on January 19th.

For top NBA prospect Luka Doncic, it was a very efficient affair: 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from three, 1-of-2 from the free throw line, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, one turnover and a PIR of 24 in 22 minutes coming off of the bench.


16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from three and 1-of-2 from the free throw line…definitely the most efficient night Doncic has had in EuroLeague for a little stretch, especially from behind the arc.

So, let’s start there: three-point shooting.

Doncic’s first points of the game came from behind the arc as he grabs the offensive rebound tipped out by Rudy Fernandez, late clock situation, shakes the defender with his patented step-back, rises and hits the three-pointer:

That jab-step was mean…

Coming up the floor in the second quarter, Doncic gets a slip from Trey Thompkins. As Doncic heads up, he hesitates, steps-back slightly and creates enough separation between himself and the defender and Doncic buries the three:

And for his most impressive shot of the game… Doncic, Thompkins and Madrid can’t work anything against a very sturdy Malaga defense and the end result — as it often is — that is Doncic has to try bail out Madrid. He’s unable to shake Ray McCallum with the dribble-drive, so he steps-back and hits the contested three-pointer as the shotclock is just about to expire:

As for Doncic’s misses from outside the arc… Won’t show them all but one of them did come in a late-clock situation but the others came in pick-and-roll situations, this one coming from Felipe Reyes:

I don’t want to dwell too much on Doncic’s misses from behind the arc because this was his best three-point shooting performance since Round 13 against Barcelona where Doncic shot 3-of-7 — this is Round 19, for reference.

Elsewhere, we saw Doncic — similar to the last game, which was the first game in a while where we saw this — operate in the post.

He backs down the smaller Ray McCallum in single coverage and draws the foul:

Unfortunately for Doncic on this occasion, the foul was called on the floor: no free throws this time.

Doncic had better luck in the third quarter where, again, he backs down McCallum in single coverage, spins, fades and hits the jumper off of glass:

Doncic had success getting to the rim in this game, mostly at the end of the game when Madrid were already out of the game.

But before that, Doncic zips past the Thompkins slip and gets by the help and McCallum, lifts his shot on the rim but it agonisingly rolls off the rim as he draws the foul, resulting in two free throws:

Now in the fourth quarter (and with Madrid chasing the game in the final minute), Doncic grabs the rebound and sets off. He skips to the paint, unleashes a beautiful euro-step and extends to lift the layup home:

In a half-court setting this time, Doncic receives the ball and his first step has the defense beaten, and he skips to the rim for the layup to give Madrid the tiniest bit of life in a game that is pretty much out of their grasp:

It hasn’t always been easy for Doncic to get to the rim on multiple occasions in a game but he was able to do so in this game…


Not a ton to report here from this game…

From the post, Doncic goes to work in the post and finds Edy Tavares passing out of the post, who scores at the rim:

Doncic and Edy would link up again in the third quarter as Doncic loops the pass over the defense to Tavares, who gathers and scores at the rim:

It’s like Doncic knows he can lead some passes a little longer and Edy will still get them, because Tavares is just that ridiculously long/tall.

In a pick-and-roll with Felipe Reyes, Doncic drops a beautiful bounce-pass to Reyes, who gets a decent head of steam toward the rim but can’t finish through the contact:

Coming in transition, Doncic receives the ball and is stopped in his tracks near the rim by two defenders. Scanning his option, Doncic whips a beautiful pass to the corner. Madrid work the ball and eventually Felipe Reyes draws a foul at the rim:

That’s really about it… Malaga did try to double/trap Doncic a couple of times: once at mid-court, where Doncic passed out and set up Trey Thompkins for a three-point attempt in transition:

And once out of a pick-and-roll, where Doncic committed his only turnover of the game:

Not a lot to say in this category today…


A little bit more to say here, however…

Doncic did not start this game well from a defensive point of view…

Here, Doncic is blown by on the perimeter, drawing the help in Jonas Maciulis. These frees up the man underneath the basket, who receives the pass and scores at the rim:

Shortly after that, Doncic (in the Madrid zone defense) and Santi Yusta both get drawn to the one man inside after the entry pass is made over the defense to Carlos Suarez. Suarez, smartly, immediately taps the ball out toward the three-point line to the man Doncic should’ve been closer to had the defensive communication been better. Doncic closes out but it’s not enough and the three is made:

Just before the end of the first quarter, Doncic is again blown by, this time by Ray McCallum, for the layup:

McCallum did give Doncic some trouble in this game.

On this possession, Doncic lets by McCallum a little too easily in transition, leading to a basket from McCallum:

Doncic did have one good defensive possession on McCallum shortly after that layup: McCallum tries to size up Doncic again but Doncic does a much better job staying in front of McCallum and as he tries to shoot, the help comes from behind in the form of Thompkins and Madrid come up with the ball:

Elsewhere, there was also this possession where Doncic bites on a fake which could’ve (and probably should’ve) resulting in an open shot, but Adam Waczynski elects to pass instead. The pass is deflected and is heading out-of-bounds until Doncic saves it (going over the advertising boards in the process) and the whistle is eventually blown, halting play:

Ending on a positive note, Doncic gets his hand in there, goes to ground and eventually comes up with a steal:

Hustling on defensive plays isn’t too unusual when it comes to Doncic…

In closing @ Malaga…

A good game from Doncic here.

Offensively, definitely his most efficient night in a while, especially from three-point range. The quality of his three-point attempts was good — a general theme over the last three games.

It was also a weird game… Coming off the bench has been a theme for Doncic for a good chunk of this season, and though he did start the third quarter he sat on the bench for most of the fourth quarter until there was about a minute and a half left in the game with the game escaping Madrid’s grasp… A strange one.

In terms of playmaking, not a ton to say here, though I did enjoy the play Doncic made for Edy from the post.

Defensively…ah… Usually the good and bad cancel each other out but not in this game — a lot more bad than good for Doncic on the defensive end. He was due for a game like that on the defensive end, I suppose…

The Dončić Dossier Vol 18 — vs. Baskonia


Real Madrid made it seven wins in a row as they came-back and knocked off Baskonia in Madrid on January 17th.

For Luka Doncic — similar to the last few games — it was another so-and-so game by his high standards: 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field, 1-of-3 from three, 5-of-6 from the line, four rebounds, three assists, three steals, two turnovers and PIR of 16 in 21 minutes off of the bench.

Let’s get into it


12 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field, 1-of-3 from three and 5-of-6 from the free throw line…

We’ll start with the threes…

1-of-3 on his threes but, really, it’s 1-of-2 because one of those attempts came in a near full-court heave at the end of the third quarter — not exactly a shot in the offense.

Since there’s really only two attempts from three, may as well go through them both.

One of the first things Doncic did was he came off a screen set by Edy Tavares, gets just past the three-point line, steps back and cans the three-pointer:

It’s been a little bit since we’ve seen Doncic connect on one of these step-back threes…

The other three-point attempt came in crunch time in the fourth quarter as Doncic comes off of a screen and springs into a three with 14 seconds left on the clock:

I’m a little down on this shot because there’s an aspect of ‘hero-ball’: no one else touches it, early enough shot and it was semi-contested in the end.

As for the rest of Doncic’s offensive game, he was limited by the Baskonia defense, who showed good defensive activity on Doncic.

On a few occasions, Doncic looked to make something happen in transition (as he likes to do) but the Baskonia defense didn’t show leaks in transition, and Doncic was forced to look elsewhere:

Again, in the fourth quarter this time, Doncic tries to scout what’s available to him in transition but is, again, cut-off and has to give it up:

After hopping in to come up with a steal, Doncic — one last time — pushes in transition but has to pull on the brakes as the Baskonia defense gets back and prevents any scoring opportunity off of the live-ball turnover:

In a half-court situation, more good Baskonia defense means that Doncic can’t turn the corner and has to look elsewhere:

Again, more good defense by Matt Janning, who cuts Doncic off and forces him to look elsewhere for offense:

Doncic committed three turnovers in this game, one of them coming after good help defense from Kevin Jones, stripping the ball from Doncic:

May as well cover the other turnover Doncic committed, while we’re here…

Doncic comes off of a Felipe Reyes screen, his defender — Luca Vildoza — gets back in front of Doncic after the screen and comes up with the steal, igniting a Baskonia fastbreak:

You can see number 11 (Matt Janning) was ready to shade over to Doncic if Vildoza was unable to get back in front of Doncic — had it planned all of the way.

For the some of Doncic’s actual other shot attempts/makes…

Doncic finally went back to his post game, which was pretty successful in the early stages of this season — not so much against Baskonia.

In the second quarter, he tries to back down Vildoza (a good decision, there’s a clear size advantage in Doncic’s favour), gets into the paint, steps to his left, tries to draw contact/the foul as Vildoza leaves his feet but nothing is called and the shot attempt is missed:

In the fourth quarter, single coverage, Doncic backs down Vildoza from the three-point line all the way into the paint. He spins to his left, fakes (I’m assuming to try draw some contact — Vildoza is unfazed by this fake — puts up the shot, it bounces on the rim but ultimately falls off:

Good defense by Vildoza on this occasion.

Doncic did draw free throws on his first post attempt after his spin and fake drew contact from Vildoza, sending Doncic to the free throw line:

I’ll use this as a segue to move onto free throws, which Doncic earned six of in this game.

Two of them came from the post move that we just looked at, another two came when in transition — one of the few opportunities Doncic had in transition — Doncic gets all the way to the rim from his own basket and draws contact at the rim, sending him to the line:


Doncic registered three assists in this game but, honestly, I don’t think that was the case — think the home scorekeeper was a bit generous with what he considered an assist.

Not a ton of pick-and-roll opportunities created in this game (a lot of what Baskonia did defensively, as we’ve looked at), but Doncic links up with Edy and Tavares draws the foul inside:

Some good defensive activity here but not the best job by Edy screening/re-screening.

Doncic linked up with Rudy Fernandez on a number of occasions in this game, the first of which occurred in the first quarter where Doncic gets the ball to Fernandez, who fakes the three, takes a dribble and rises into a three-pointer:

In crunch time in the fourth quarter, Doncic rejects the screen, goes to his left and sets up Rudy for a three-point attempt which Fernandez misses:

Doncic and Fernandez would link up (to a degree) one more time as Doncic passes the ball to Rudy in the corner, Rudy takes another dribble-step and hits the game-winner:

Doncic actually collapses the defense briefly, and as he passes to Fernandez, the help defender is already scrambling somewhat, presenting a great opportunity to Fernandez to shot-fake, step inside and hit the game-winner.


I know I’m going to sound like a broken record when I say this but it really is true: there were ups and downs on the defensive end for Doncic in this game.

We’ll start with the good stuff…

Doncic had three steals in this game, this first one comes from Doncic jumping the passing lane (anticipating) and he goes down the other end scores the layup:

Doncic had quite the sequence in the second quarter: he gets physical defensively (like to see that), he’s on-hand to steal a cross-court pass (the Madrid zone defense putting him in a good position to do so), goes down the other end and misses two shots at the rim:

Quite the sequence… Again, the zone defense puts Doncic in a position to come up with a steal, and he leads the fastbreak but has to put on the brakes as Baskonia set up defensively:

Doncic whips out some good hustle as he gets back in transition and contests a three-point attempt from Baskonia that misses:

Moving onto some of the ‘meh’ stuff defensively…

Here, Doncic is whizzed by a little easily near the rim as Baskonia come charging in transition:

And finally (not a lot in this department today), Doncic doesn’t rotate as the help defender and it leads to a basket for Baskonia:

I know that’s technically not Doncic’s man — and it’s Rudy Fernandez’s fault — but you’d just like to see him have that defensive awareness/take that defensive responsibility to rotate and help contest that shot.

In closing vs. Baskonia…

Offensively, it was a tough game for Doncic. Baskonia did a good job limiting not only his scoring but the number of shots and opportunities that Doncic saw.

Again, similar to last game, good to see that those wild three-point attempts by Doncic have been reigned in — would obviously prefer to see him shoot 1-of-3 rather than 2-of-8 or 3-of-9 from three.

In terms of playmaking, not a ton to talk about in this game. There are some games where Doncic and Edy just don’t link up a lot in pick-and-roll scenarios and this is one of many areas where Madrid miss Gustavo Ayon.

Defensively, a really solid game. A few downs but mostly ups as Doncic continues to learn defensively. His effort has been solid too of late, really solid. Certainly in this game he was more than able to hold his own defensively — and some, picking up those three steals.

The boxscore won’t tell you the whole story, a good game from Doncic here…

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 17 — @ Khimki Moscow Region


Real Madrid continued their fine form as they made it six wins straight as they exacted revenge on another team that had previously beat them in their first encounter: Khimki Moscow Region. Madrid easily won out in the end, 95-78 on January 12th.

For top prospect Luka Doncic, it was a subdued game: 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field, 0-of-3 from behind the arc, 6-of-6 from the line, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, three turnovers and a PIR of 16 in 22 minutes coming off of the bench.


10 points for Doncic on 2-of-8 shooting, 0-of-3 from three and 6-of-6 from the line.

Let’s start with three-point shooting.

Yes, it was another poor performance, going 0-for-3, but the shots Doncic took from three didn’t come in poorly selected pull-ups with 18 seconds left on the shotclock but shots in late-clock situations — a little more excusable.

As the shotclock winds down, Doncic tries to put on a dribbling clinic, can’t shake the defender and steps back into a three that misses as the clock winds down:

At the end of the first half, Madrid have done a poor job getting into an offensive set and Doncic is given the ball to bail out Madrid again. An Edy Tavares screen creates a switch but Doncic elects to try to shoot over the defender as the shotclock winds down:

You could argue that Doncic settled here and that’d be a fair point — could’ve chosen to drive and instead of settle. The shotclock was still winding down and it was given to Doncic to bail the team out.

And finally, at the end of the third quarter Madrid have the last shot and Doncic opts to settle for a three-pointer that is offline:

Some of these still aren’t great shots but they’re a little more excusable because they’re in late clock situations — and there were only three of them, not five or six. Progress is progress? Sort of?

Elsewhere on the offensive end — for one of his two field goals — Doncic uses the screen, gets a switch, steps back and hits the mid-range J:

For some more of Doncic getting downhill, he rejects the screen, skips to the rim with ease, extends elegantly, uses the glass and scores:

For some of his misses, Doncic tries to get to the rim again (was actually in an earlier part of the game than the last clip) but takes heavy contact from the defender and play continues on, with Doncic wanting a foul call after that contact:

On a drive in the fourth quarter, Doncic pulls up at the free throw line but can’t hit the free throw jumper on this occasion:

And finally, Doncic tries to whip out the fancy with the reverse layup with this left hand after squeezing by the defender but can’t get the layup to drop:

Doncic got to the free throw line on six occasions in this game, mostly because Khimki fouled Doncic while in the bonus.

Here, after a Khimki miss, Doncic manages to split the double/trap at mid-court and draws the foul, sending him to the free throw line:


Four assists and three turnovers for Doncic in this game… Let’s start with some of his assists/chances created.

As Doncic comes up the floor as the Khimki defense tries to get set, he finds Jeffrey Taylor in the corner for a three-point attempt, which Taylor duly dispatches:

In the fourth quarter, Madrid execute a great team move that has Doncic make a run from the baseline, receives the ball from Jaycee Carroll from behind the three-point line, drives to his left and finds Chasson Randle on the wing for a three-pointer:

Doncic and Carroll would link up just moments later, this time Doncic finding Carroll coming off of a screen and Carroll hits the three:

So, quite a number of Doncic’s assists came in three-point makes but he created more opportunities that his teammates missed…

In transition, Doncic sets up Fabien Causeur for a three-point attempt that Causeur misses:

Doncic committed three turnovers in this game and got caught in the air on a number of occasions.

Here was one, as Doncic leaves his feet only to find that there’s not a great option to pass to, tries to force something inside and turns the ball over:

For his other turnovers, here, Doncic has his pass to the corner to Jaycee Carroll deflected and it results in a turnover:

In the fourth quarter, Carroll makes a cut off of the ball from the baseline to the wing. As Doncic makes his pass to Carroll, Malcolm Jenkins gets in front of Carroll, knocks the ball away and sets up Tyler Honeycutt for the basket:


As always, some good and bad things defensively in this game for Doncic.

Here, Doncic displays some good defensive anticipation, sees the play unfold as it’s happening, jumps the passing lane, comes up with the steal and draws the foul:

In the fourth quarter, Madrid commit a turnover through Causeur, and Doncic and Facundo Campazzo are the ones left to try to prevent the transition score. Doncic contests the first shot well, Khimki fluff-up the offensive putback and Doncic knocks the ball away and Madrid escape without conceding:

Let’s move on to some of the defensive shortcomings/happenings Doncic had in this game.

In transition, Doncic doesn’t close out to meet Alexey Schved, who takes the opportunity to pull up for an uncontested three-pointer:

Doncic was the unfortunate victim of Tyler Honeycutt going absolutely berserk in the fourth quarter from beyond the arc, despite some good contests by Doncic.

From the corner, Doncic hoists a good contest but Honeycutt still hits the three:

Again, Doncic was right there with his contest but Honeycutt still hits the three:

In closing @ Khimki…

Thankfully for Madrid, this was a game that didn’t require Doncic’s offense to win the game. By the time Doncic checked in at the end of the third quarter, the game was basically over — the bulk of Doncic’s scoring was done in the first half anyways.

He didn’t take a ton of shots and though he missed all three of his three-pointers, they were at least a little more justifiable since the clock was running a low.

We didn’t see a ton of Doncic-Tavares pick-and-roll in this game and Doncic looked quite passive off of the ball at times — he wasn’t involved an enormous amount in the offense in his stint in the second half. Instead, Doncic set up a number of opportunities from behind the arc.

Defensively, Doncic played pretty well but was torched by Honeycutt late on which, as we’ve looked at, there wasn’t really much more he could’ve done — he contested those shots pretty well. When you’re hot, you’re hot.

A solid game from Doncic, all things considered in another victory for Real Madrid.

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 16 — vs. Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv


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.

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 13 — Vs. Valencia Basket


Real Madrid made it two wins in a row as the knocked off Valencia 91-72 in Madrid on December 19th.

For Luka Doncic, it was a very brief affair.

Doncic was ejected from the game after picking up two technical fouls in his six minutes on the court, coming off of the bench.

Here was the first technical as his elbow makes contact with Tibor Pleiss’ face as Doncic goes to make a layup, deemed to be ‘unsportsmanlike’:

Pleiss is left with a fair amount of blood on his face, and you wonder how because, from that angle, it didn’t look like anything.

From another view, though:

Yeah… He gets him pretty good, as it turns out.

So, that was one tech.

The second came after Doncic was demonstrative in his disagreement with a call:

And there you go: how to get tossed in six minutes, led by Luka Doncic.

Prior to his ejection, Doncic scored six points, made two three-pointers, dished out one assist, committed one turnover and came up with two steals.

Though his time on the court was brief, I’ll still treat this as a normal entry, it’ll just be shorter…


Not much to discuss here, though Doncic did hit two three-pointers (on his two attempts)…

Here, Doncic uses the screen from Felipe Reyes and rises into his first three-pointer:

Nice work by Doncic to position himself…

For his second three, Doncic sizes up Rafa Martinez and hits him with his patented step-back three:

And that was literally it… Again, just six minutes of action so it shouldn’t be surprising…


There was a good bit more to see here in Doncic’s six minutes. Just one assist but he created a number of opportunities…

Off of the pick-and-roll show by Valencia, Doncic finds the rolling Reyes, who draws the foul inside:

Off of another pick-and-roll show, Doncic finds Jonas Maciulis for a three-point attempt but it’s offline:

Off of a turnover, Doncic heads in transition with a half-head of steam, skips past his defender and finds Jeffrey Taylor for an open three-point attempt:

Nice setup by Doncic but Taylor can’t convert on this occasion.


Nothing to report here…

In closing vs. Valencia…

Obviously a very small sample size for this game…

It was good to see Doncic hit two threes on his two attempts if nothing else…

Doncic created a number of opportunities in his brief time on the floor — a lot more than you would expect in six minutes.

For the T’s themselves… I mean, it happens, but maybe he should’ve realised that he was always playing with fire when voicing his displeasure with the officials with one T already hanging over him…

The Dončić Dossier Vol 12 — vs. FC Barcelona Lassa


Real Madrid snapped their three game losing streak with a very important win at home against rivals FC Barcelona in Madrid 87-75 on December 14th.

For top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic, it was a solid game across all fronts as he scored 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, 3-of-7 from three, claimed six rebounds, dished out seven assists, came up with one steal, committed one turnover and registered a PIR of 26 in 26 minutes of play coming off of the bench.


16 points on 6-of-13 from the field and 3-of-7 from three for Doncic in this one…

It wasn’t the offensive outburst from Olympiacos (where he scored 33 points) but solid scoring on good efficiency. Doncic didn’t really look for his own offense in this game, particularly in the second half.

We’ll start with the three-point shooting, since it was how most of Doncic’s 16 points were consisted of.

Two of these came in the second quarter when Doncic was beginning to feel it and heat up, having spent most of the first quarter on the bench.

After punishing Barcelona for showing off of the pick-and-roll with two assists back-to-back, Barcelona abandoned that and Doncic made sure to make them pay for getting caught up on the drag screen:


For this next three, Barcelona defend the pick-and-roll better initially, but Doncic hits the defender with a jab and a step-back, who falls for it, and Doncic hits the open three:


After hitting those two threes back-to-back, you can forgive Doncic for going to the haymaker/heat-check:


It was a pretty deep attempt but we’ve seen Doncic hit these before and, to be fair, he was given the room to let it fly — just offline…

In what will go down as one of Doncic’s best plays of the season, he hits this, almost, full court heave to end the third quarter:


Nothing. But. Net — what an incredible shot. Doncic called it ‘luck’ postgame, and there’s always an element of luck when it comes to a shot like that but even still…

That was all for the three-point makes but there was this play in the fourth quarter I really liked. It was how Doncic faked a pass inside and it created room for an open three-point attempt as the defender bit at the fake:


Didn’t make this shot but I liked how he opened it up for himself.

Moving away from three-point shooting, Doncic had other impressive plays offensively.

Coming the other way with Fabien Causeur off of a turnover, Doncic receives the ball and it looks like he initially wants to dunk it home but adjusts mid-air and converts a very tough layup with the defense right there:


Great adjustment in mid-air by Doncic to make that basket.

Doncic mixed it up on the glass after this block on Causeur, and Doncic is there to clean up, dunks it and draws the foul (smacked across the face):


He didn’t appreciate the slap across the face and would miss the resulting free throw. Always nice to see a Doncic dunk though…


Doncic seemed to have more of an impact in this area of the game than scoring: seven assists for Doncic and, as always, a lot more opportunities created than that.

I briefly mentioned how Barca showed off of the pick-and-roll in the second quarter — it was brief because Doncic, Felipe Reyes and Madrid, on both occasions, punished them for doing so.

Here, Barcelona extend the pressure on Doncic off of the screen made by Felipe Reyes. Reyes rolls down the empty lane and Doncic finds him for the layup and the foul:


Nice quick decision by Doncic making that pass, seemed to know exactly what he wanted to do — sometimes that kind of pressure can force you to make hasty decisions…

And the same thing happened again as Doncic and Reyes link up again as Barcelona extended the defense out of the pick-and-roll:


Barca could’ve defended this better, but it’s a difficult enough pass to make from Doncic but he pulled it off.

Elsewhere, Doncic produced this nice overhead assist to a cutting Trey Thompkins underneath the basket:


This next assist has to be one of the sickest ones Doncic has produced…

Doncic sizes up Victor Claver and downs him not once but twice with the crossover and dribble, leaving Claver in a heap as Doncic pops it off to Reyes for the assist:


Just brutal, got-damn! It’s bad enough to have someone leaning once but twice? Damn…

Elsewhere for general shot-creation, Doncic was everywhere.

This was one of my favourite plays from Doncic in this game. Cooped up on the wing faced with two defenders, Doncic finds Reyes with a simple bounce-pass but Reyes can’t convert amongst the traffic at the rim:


Such a simple looking play, liked the patience from Doncic on this possession.

Coming off of a screen, Doncic gains traction between himself and the rim, draws a crowd and kicks it out to the corner but the three from Thompkins is off:


In a scramble situation for Barcelona where the ball has broken Doncic’s way, Doncic makes the right play and finds the open Fabien Causeur for a three-point attempt and the shot is off but Thompkins is there to follow it up:


These were just a few examples, there were other attempts that Doncic set-up that his teammates couldn’t convert — Doncic would’ve easily had 10 assists in this game had a few of those good looks fallen…

Just one turnover for Doncic in this game: this bounce-pass sailing a little out of the reach of Reyes:


Very difficult pass to execute given the angle and how far Reyes is ahead of the ball — needed a higher bounce to have any hope of Reyes reaching it.


Not a lot to document here, Barcelona don’t have a lot of wing creators that would look to exploit Doncic regularly throughout a game.

There a few clips worth showing though…

Here, some really solid defense by Doncic but a case of ‘good D, better O’:


Those have to suck if you’re the defense, not much more you can do there…

In the third quarter, Doncic directs the offensive player into the path of Madrid bodies and the pass is forced:


Nothing massive by any means, just a defensive play I liked.

In closing vs. Barcelona…

Just a really good all around game from Doncic as Madrid picked up a much-needed win after losing six of their seven games (all in the absence of Gustavo Ayon).

Doncic got going in the second quarter and really took only one shot that wasn’t 100% ideal with that deep heat-check shot (which, come on, it was a heat-check) — in general, good shot selection, he picked his spots and didn’t force anything offensively.

That shot to end the third quarter is still ridiculous…

He made those around him better with those seven assists and gave them more than enough opportunities to succeed (he really should’ve finished with more than seven assists…).

A game-high PIR of 26 is a fitting reflection of Doncic’s game. He was, as he has been often this season, the best player on the floor in this game.

The Dončić Dossier Vol 11 — @ Olympiacos Piraeus


After losing their previous two games, Olympiacos made it three straight defeats for Real Madrid, topping the Spanish side in overtime 92-83 on December 8th in Greece.

For NBA prospect Luka Doncic, he enjoyed his highest scoring total of the EuroLeague season so far, scoring 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting, 4-of-9 from three, 5-of-7 from the free throw line, six rebounds, four assists, one turnover and a PIR of 36 in 38 minutes.


A monstrous 33 points for Doncic… What stands out instantly is the efficiency: 12-of-21 from the field and 4-of-9 from three.

One thing that Doncic went to often in this game was the ‘up-and-under’ move, and it was something that worked to great effect:

A nice fake to bait the defender off of his feet.

Again, he uses a similar move in the fourth quarter, after coming off of an Edy Tavares screen, only this time the shot he has to make is a lot tougher:

That’s a tough basket, great shot…

It wasn’t the only tough leaner that Doncic hit, check the one-legged leaner in the first half:

I love how Doncic, once he comes off the screen, has the defender at his hip and then backs into the defender before this shot.

Doncic got to the rim on a number of occasions in this game.

After Olympiacos made some free throws, Doncic literally traverses up the sideline and gets all the way to the rim plus draws the foul:

Doncic shouldn’t really been allowed to get all the way to the rim from where he started but, alas…

In crunch time, coming off of the screen, Doncic skips to the rim, finishing in style with a sweet side-step:

Beautiful footwork.

Doncic made four three-pointers in this game, with the majority of his nine three-point attempts being good shots.

After some nice ball-movement (started by Doncic) the ball finds its way back to Doncic and he hits the three:

As one of the first acts of the second half, Doncic rejects the screen, goes to his left and sidesteps his way into a three:

In overtime, Doncic hits this deep three to put Madrid back in front in overtime:

Doncic is a player that can be iso-heavy at times, and sometimes these iso-like possessions just don’t go well.

Here, Doncic tries to size up the defender, tries to beat him one-on-one but his up-and-under is short and Olympiacos claim the rebound:

Doncic did have this isolation possession (on a switch) and gets to the rim at the end of the clock — though, helped by a defensive slip, literally — and draws the foul and free throws:

Sometimes these iso/one-on-one possessions come off but it seems, more so than not, they don’t. Granted, there weren’t as many of these type of possessions in this game as games past…


Four assists for Doncic in this game and, as usual, many more opportunities created.

The transition game was, again, an area that Doncic excelled at finding the right man.

Off of a block, Doncic does a good job saving the ball and heads up the court after the save. He receives the ball, puts pressure on the rim, draws a crowd and finds Taylor in the corner. Unfortunately, Taylor couldn’t gather the pass cleanly and the opportunity for Taylor is gone:

Off of two made free throws, Doncic pushes again in transition as the second quarter comes to an end. He finds Jaycee Carroll behind the arc, and Carroll converts the three to beat the buzzer:

Again in transition, Doncic plays his part in moving the ball onward to find Jaycee Carroll, again for three:

That’s just a great team play to make this basket possible.

We didn’t see a lot of Doncic pick-and-roll action that led to baskets, but there was this one in overtime, as Doncic finds Reyes after the pick-and-roll, with Olympiacos wanting a foul call as Reyes got tangled up:

Off of a screen with Trey Thompkins, Thompkins fades behind the three-point line. Doncic finds him, but Thompkins can’t hit the shot:


Defensively, it was all going so well for Doncic…

Here, Doncic plays some really solid defense on the wing — moving his feet well and not allowing  but it was just a case of ‘good D, better O’:

In the post — somewhere where Doncic has struggled defensively at times — Doncic holds his ground and forces the pass:

Doncic was, at times disruptive defensively.

Here (and this nothing big by any means but still noteworthy), Doncic gets his hand in there and deflects a pass:

Again, this isn’t anything big but it’s something…

In the fourth quarter, Doncic helps extend the defensive pressure right at halfcourt, almost resulting in a turnover:

It was going so well until overtime, that is…

Overtime was where Doncic’s defense was exploited.

On this possession, Doncic is beaten by the spin move in the post for the score:

This was a very nice offensive move, it must be said — the spin and sweeping left-hook…

As OT drew to a close, Doncic bites on this pump-fake, leading to a basket:

And to cap it off, Doncic doesn’t stick close enough to his man and the end result is a dunk that adds the exclamation point for Olympiacos:

It was a shame that Doncic was at the fore/part of some major defensive plays in overtime, the game was having prior to that was excellent.

In closing @ Olympiacos…

A huge effort from Doncic in this game on both sides of the floor.

Offensively, he took charge with his 33 points and did so efficiently, also doing so without ball-hogging or hero-ball but moving the ball and getting others involved.

38 minutes — even in an overtime game — is an awful lot and, not for the first time, Doncic played the entire second half.

Defensively, in regulation it was good. He was active and, at times, disruptive. But in overtime that came crashing down, which was unfortunate because it doesn’t reflect his defense across the entire game.

Real Madrid have lost a number of close games this season and, sadly, this is another to add to the list…but not by the lack of effort from Luka Doncic…

The Dončić Dossier Vol. 6: @ Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv


After a defeat to Khimki Moscow last time out, Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv made it two losses in a row for Real Madrid in Israel as they lost 90-83.

For Luka Dončić, it was another difficult outing shooting 5-of-14 from the field and 2-of-7 from three but did manage to score 19 points, shot 7-of-8 from the free throw line, grabbed six rebounds, dished out six assists, grabbed a steal and posted a PIR of 30 in a season-high 32 minutes.


A bit of a difficult game for Dončić offensively: 19 points but 5-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-7 from three — a lot of those three-point attempts coming in the fourth quarter.

Let’s start with the things that Dončić did well but looking at how he struggled.

Again, starting with three-point shooting, this wasn’t a bad way to begin the game: hitting the deep three-pointer:

That is legitimate NBA range, and we’ve seen already that this is in Dončić’s arsenal.

Coming off of a screen, Dončić goes to his right, rises and hits a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter:

Great screen by Felipe Reyes — it really helps when you make proper contact with your man on the screen as Reyes did here, and this freed up Dončić the space he needed to get this shot away.

Going away from the three-point shooting for now, a strong drive from Dončić and the large crowd in the paint doesn’t deter him as he makes this layup near the end of the first half:

Dončić got to the free throw line on eight occasions in this game, here’s how he drew three of them:

One more positive thing to look at was this possession:

Dončić receives the ball after the interior pass by Randolph, leaping over the shorter John DiBartolomeo and catching the ball. Dončić ball-fakes inside to shed the help defender but misses the point-blank layup and can’t get the tip to go:

Very nice fake, and that’s a made layup nine times out of 10… Just not this one…

Alright, now to look at why Dončić was only 5-of-14 shooting from the field…

In the last game I talked about how Dončić comes into these games with a target on his back and this game was probably the best showcase for that: he was swamped in this game by Tel Aviv’s defense.

There were so many examples of Tel Aviv really extending the defensive pressure and throwing bodies at Dončić — and some of them we’ll cover in the next section because it was part of the reason Dončić had six assists — but we’ll look at a few now.

Here, Dončić sees a lot of pressure off of the pick-and-roll and this prevents him turning the corner. With the shotclock winding down, Dončić then puts up a tough shot that doesn’t go down:

Near the end of the first quarter, Dončić again sees a lot of pressure coming off the pick-and-roll and left with not a lot of options or than to pass the ball to a teammate. Anthony Randolph can’t get a shot away and gives up to Dončić, who also can’t find a shot opportunity and passes it off to Campazzo with just over a second remaining on the shotclock, and Campazzo has to heave in desperation:

In the second half, this play takes way too long to develop and it leads to, again, a very aggressive hedge off of the screen and Dončić’s attempted pass inside is deflected. At this stage, the clock is low and Dončić tries to go one-on-one and it’s a very tough shot taken in the end:

You get the general idea (and we’ll look at how Dončić found some looks for his teammates following this type of pressure): it was a very tough going for Dončić. He gets defense’s best shot and their full attention, which is tough for an 18 year old to deal with.  To score 19 points anyways was pretty impressive, all things considered.


A bit more passing/facilitating in this game from Dončić — six assists — and a lot of that had to do with him having to give the ball up because of the defensive pressure he saw/what the defensive pressure opened for others.

Here, Tel Aviv kind of ICE this action with Dončić and Randolph except it’s not executed perfectly as the person who’s supposed to be shading over to Randolph, Pierre Jackson, doesn’t quite fully get to him and comes off of him too quickly and the result is a three-pointer for Randolph:

Off of the screen, Tel Aviv hedge Dončić again and he’s put in a tough predicament. After picking up his dribble, Dončić finds Chasson Randle behind the three-point line, but Randle’s three is too long:

Better execution defensively this time by Tel Aviv: that’s who you want taking shots instead of Luka Dončić.

Again, Tel Aviv throw bodies at Dončić and he’s forced to make a decision. He makes the right pass to Randolph in the paint, but Randolph is quickly swarmed and he gives it up to Jaycee Carroll, who should probably pass it back out to Dončić but instead takes a tough shot:

The right pass to make from Dončić but really good execution defensively by Tel Aviv to prevent a basket here.

Moving on to other ways of facilitating without basically being forced to…

We saw Dončić pass out of the post recently and we saw more of it in this game.

Here, Dončić receives the entry pass on the block, turns and fires a very complicated pass to the weak-side corner to Taylor, who collects the pass and misses the three:

A bit of a tough pass to handle but the vision here is top notch — difficult pass to make and it did ultimately lead to a good opportunity.

Again in the post, Dončić backs down and passes to the weak-side, to Campazzo, who takes a dribble, passes it off and Reyes scores inside:

Moving on, here was a very nice bit of vision from Dončić, knowing exactly what he’s going to do with it as soon as he gets it by making this interior pass to Randolph who scores inside:

Great awareness, seeing the play unfold before he makes the pass.

After a miss, Dončić grabs the rebound, heads up the floor, turns on the jets, whips out a beautiful behind-the-back move before whizzing the ball to Taylor in the corner. Taylor misses the three but Dončić is on hand to grab the offensive rebound and draws the foul, leading to free throws:

Probably the highlight of Dončić’s game, to be fair. Could he have attempted the layup himself? Probably, but he saw what he thought was a better opportunity in the corner in Taylor…

Normally, we see Dončić get his head down in transition to try to make something happen: whether it’s for himself or for others.

Here, we see Dončić take his time to survey the scene before making the right pass to Campazzo for an open three-point opportunity which misses:

Nice, patient play by Dončić here: didn’t rush it and made the right play. Shame Campazzo couldn’t make the shot on this occasion.

Off of a Tel Aviv miss, Dončić quickly outlets to Randolph, who is at the other end of the court. This basket didn’t count as Dončić was barreled into before the basket and shot free throws instead:

Mainly to show off the outlet pass, really…

And lastly, a nice interior bounce-pass after the pick-and-roll to find Reyes, who scores using glass:


Few things to talk about as always here, some good stuff again from Dončić.

On this possession, Dončić does a good job to get back in front of his man after a screen separates him and then gets a contest up on the shot that still falls:

Good defense but just better offense here… Good to see Dončić fight to get back in the play…

Some good vertical defense here from Dončić as he stays in front of DeShaun Thomas off of the dribble and the shot from Thomas is off:

You can also see Dončić’s versatility and ability to switch defensively, and that definitely helps.

Here we see a little more switching and more solid awareness. After a pick-and-roll, Dončić steps into the gap and into the path of the ball-handler before falling back and switching underneath the basket:

A score here for Thomas in the end but it had nothing really to do with Dončić…

And Dončić did something similar again defensively a few possessions later: switches on the pick-and-roll and prevents the penetration inside by Michael Roll, who is forced to pass to the perimeter and that perimeter shot is off:

This has probably been the game we’ve seen the most switching from Dončić defensively.

There were a few concerns from this game, however…

DeShaun Thomas caused a number of issues for Dončić in this game, off of the dribble for one:

In the post:

And beaten to the spot on the right block, where he can catch, spin and score:

Yeaaah… DeShaun Thomas was definitely a problem for Dončić in this game.

And, look, it bears repeating that these are grown ass men Dončić has to face: their bodies are more developed for the professional game at age 25, 26 etc… Dončić is only 18. Now, that doesn’t excuse all of the defensive shortcomings but it’s worth remembering…

In closing vs. Tel Aviv…

A tough offensive game for Dončić and Tel Aviv knew what they wanted to do: throw bodies at him, ensure he doesn’t turn the corner on pick-and-rolls and force him to give it up someone else and make others make shots.

And it was executed very well.

Dončić was able to get to the free throw line often to help make up for his struggles from the field and this wave of defensive pressure allowed him to set up others for opportunities that, really, should’ve been taken advantage of but his teammates couldn’t always get it done (missing Gustavo Ayon in this one did not help).

Despite all of that, Dončić still registered a game-high PIR of 30 which is still hugely impressive.

Defensively, up and down for Luka — had good moments at times and had some meh moments… Some decent awareness stuff though, stuff that wasn’t there to begin the season so that’s encouraging going forward…