Mavericks Luka Doncic Says 'I Know I've Got to Do Better' on Conditioning

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 8, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills, left, defends as Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) moves to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic acknowledged that he has to get into better shape after his team's 102-99 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

"People are going to talk about it, yes or no," Doncic told reporters. "I know I've got to do better."

Doncic had a busy year on the basketball court, with the Mavs playing 79 total games from Dec. 23, 2020, through June 6, 2021. He then joined up with the Slovenian Olympic men's basketball team soon after, and its run ended on Aug. 7.

The First Team All-NBA member acknowledged his "long summer" and that perhaps he relaxed too much following that tough stretch.

"I had a long summer. I had the Olympics, took three weeks off, and I relaxed a little bit. Maybe too much. I've just got to get back on track."

The comments dropped on the same night that NBA on TNT color commentator Reggie Miller made reference to Doncic's weight midgame.

"To me, looking at him, this is the heaviest I've probably ever seen Luka look, right now," Miller said in part.

"And I know he’s had a long year with the Olympics, but look how he's plodding up and down. He's not really running."

Doncic has been dealing with numerous injuries this year, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, including a sprained left knee and ankle. He also has a sprained left thumb, per the Mavs' injury report.

Doncic's weight had nothing to do with the Mavs' loss Tuesday. The two-time All-Star played well en route to 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

However, the Mavs shot just 9-of-46 from three-point range, which led to Dallas blowing a 17-point third-quarter lead.

Dallas doesn't have much time to rest, as the team's next game is Wednesday evening in Memphis against the Grizzlies. The Mavs will look to get back to .500 after dropping to 11-12 on Tuesday.