‘Halleluka’. ”It seemed fitting that the game concluded this way, as The Ringer’s signature song ‘Halleluka’ made its public debut at the American Airlines Center (Dallas).”
3:09 minutes left on the game clock. 102-94 Houston’s biggest lead of the game (+8). There was 16 ties and 26 lead changes in this game.
19 years old rookie from Slovenia with straight 11 points erases eight-points deficit and Mavericks went to their ninth consecutive home victory!
ROY (Rookie of The Year)? I think that after almost 2 months played in 2018/19 NBA season most of basketball experts will agree – Doncic is the ROY of this season!
For me it’s not surprise. In my article for HUPU I already wrote about him – “LUKA DONCIC. 19 YEARS OLD EUROLEAGUE MVP TO BECOME FUTURE NBA STAR?”
If someone is MVP of Euroleague, European Champion, Euroleague Champion at age of 19… There’s no questions – he is ready for NBA. Euroleague = grown men’s basketball/second best basketball league in the world.
Confidence and high basketball IQ. European player who despite being far from the fastest in NBA can create his own shot. Court vision. These things describes Luka.
Most of the Latvian basketball fans still remembers his crazy 3-pointer (9 meters from basket/0 seconds left on shot clock/backboard… from +4 to +7 4:41 minutes left…) in EUROBASKET 2017 quarter-finals that was one of the key moments that lead Slovenia (Dragic MIA, Doncic DAL) to victory over Latvia (Porzingis NYK , Bertans SAS) despite Porzingis 8 points in last 4 minutes of the game.
Doncic is special talent – no questions!
In this article we are not talking about his defense. YES, Harden scored one-third of his total points vs. Dallas when he was guarded by Doncic…
3:09 LEFT ON THE GAME CLOCK. ROCKETS +8 (102:94).
3:09. Nene makes both free throws (94-102)
2:50. DONCIC CORNER CATCH-AND-SHOOT 3-PT MADE (97-102)
X5 (Nene) helped too much on 4 (Barnes) drive to the basket. To prevent 2 (Matthews) from attempting open 3-point shot XD (Tucker) had to rotate (stunt) but he wasn’t able to recover back to Doncic. Harden and Paul wasn’t in great helping positions to help the helper. Matthews finds Luka empty in the corner = 3-points!
2:32. Harden misses pull-up 3-pt. PNR (Mathews goes under/Luka doesn’t want to switch vs. Harden) 15 seconds left on the shot clock and Rockets +5…
2:19. Matthews misses 3-pt. PNR (2 ball-screens set by teammates).
2:18. Jordan offensive rebound (vs. CP3) + CP3 foul. Houston SWITCH ALL. CP3 (1.83m) has almost 0% to get the rebound against 28 cm taller Jordan (2.11m).
2:18. Dallas. Side-line inbounds play.
2:05 DONCIC. HIGH-PNR. HOUSTON SWITCHES PNR. DONCIC vs. CAPELA (JORDAN-TUCKER) STEP-BACK 3-PT MADE 1.3 SECONDS BEFORE END OF THE SHOT CLOCK. (100-102)
1:49. Clever play by Chris Paul. Personal foul by rookie Brunson. CP3 86.7% career FT shooter misses the both free-throws.. Rockets 11/11 FT before CP3’s FTs.
1:34. DONCIC. HIGH PNR. SCREEN + RE-SCREEN BY JORDAN. DRIVE TO THE BASKET AND FINISHES FISH FLOATER. (102-102)
Despite Tucker’s great defense Doncic is able to score.
1:14. Harden three-point shot missed (air-ball). CP3 sets the ball-screen for Harden. Dallas switch. Harden 1vs1 vs. Brunson. Shot was attempted when 4.0 seconds left on the shot clock.
0:57. DONCIC. SET PLAY. PASS TO BARNES HAND-OFF + FLARE SCREEN + PNR. (Again great individual defense by Tucker denying Doncic to get the ball back after passing to Barnes) PICK-AND-ROLL SWITCH. ONCE AGAIN DONCIC vs CAPELA. STEP-BACK 3-POINTER MADE. (105-102)
0:45. Harden 1vs1 vs. Brunson. Drives to the basket and scores 2 points. Play out of time-out. CP3 and Harden hand-off is switched so Beard can play against Brunson. (105-104)
0:24. Brunson back-door cut = lay-up (2pt). DONCIC PNR TRAP – Jordan short roll – Brunson back-door cut to the basket. Great decisions by Doncic/Jordan/Brunson. (107-104)
This time Houston decided to TRAP Doncic instead of SWITCH. Doncic passing skills allowed him to successfully deliver the ball to Jordan (4vs3). CP3 was focusing too much on covering Jordan’s roll to the basket. It allowed Brunson to cut to the basket and score 2 points.
0:18. Quick 3-pointer by Gordon missed. CP3 hand-off screen to Gordon open up him for pretty good 3-point shot attempt. It’s not easy to have better shot opportunity in only 6 seconds being down by 3 points.
0:16. Defensive rebound by Jordan.
0:14.8. Harden fouls Matthews. Matthews (78% season FT% + 5/5 FT in this game before) misses both free-throws. Defensive rebound by Team. No time out called yet.
0:05.0. Houston full time out.
0:00.0 SOB play by coach D’Antoni. Gordon misses 3-PT shot…
Dallas – Houston last 3 minutes of the game:
- Dallas outscored Houston 13:2.
- Dallas rookies Doncic (11) and Brunson (2) scored all points for Mavs.
- Two step-back 3-pointers made vs. Capela (PNR Switch).
- Jordan collected 4 (1+3) rebounds.
- Matthews (78% career, 5/5 vs Houston before 2 missed FTA) missed 2 free-throws.
- Harden missed both 3-pointers.
- Chris Paul missed both free-throws. (career 87%).
- Gordon missed both 3-pointers including last second shot.
Despite Houston Rockets have bigger potential compared to Dallas Mavericks this season they don’t play like a unified team. It’s easy to see that atmosphere is much better in Dallas team. Maybe Zhou Qi can make a difference? Definitely I am not the only one who wants to see him playing soon again !
Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com/CoachKris@HUPU.