“I used to really have fun, I was smiling on the floor, but now everything is so frustrating for many reasons, not only because of basketball,” Luka Dončić said after Dallas’ new defeat, this time against the dismissed Charlotte.
After another bitter defeat, judging by ESPN’s statistics the biggest surprise this season, Dallas fans are slowly having enough of everything. After losing for the sixth time in their last eight games (12th in their last 17 games), they expressed their displeasure midway through the third quarter after watching their beloved system completely collapse all game.
They only led at the beginning of the meeting, when Luka Dončić put the ball through the ring with a floater. Then Charlotte, one of the worst teams in the league, was in the lead all the time. He took care of the highest advantage (+21) with a free throw Gordon Hayward (69:90). Dallas managed to get closer to the opponent by a point difference, but Charlotte quickly answered with a partial result of 10:0.
Numerous defeats in the last period, and the fact that the playoffs are slowly but steadily slipping away from his team, have left consequences on the first star of the team, Luka Dončić. He hasn’t been this disappointed after a game in a long time. “You can see the difference in me on the floor. Sometimes I don’t even feel like it’s me anymore. I just exist. I used to really have fun, smile on the floor, but now it’s all so frustrating for so many reasons, not just basketball, “ said Dončić and after an additional question about what was bothering him, he also mentioned problems in his private life.
Despite everything, Dončić was by far the most efficient individual of the Mavericks with 34 points, he was just two passes short of a triple double with ten rebounds. “We have to play harder. That’s it. We have to show that we care – and it all starts with me first. I just have to lead this team, play harder. I take responsibility for that,” said the native of Ljubljana.
He added 18 points at the expense of Dallas on Saturday night Kyrie Irving. “We’re a very balanced team on days when I feel like we’ve done our best. But then there are days when the energy just isn’t there or we don’t start the game well, the offense doesn’t flow or we just don’t hit the shots. That’s where they play a prominent role also emotions, which can then dictate the outcome of matches,” Irving said.
While the head coach Jason Kidd justified the outcry from the fans from the stands, Irving does not excessively deal with them. On the contrary, he doesn’t care about the fans’ negative reactions. “I played in New York. I know what it’s like. Of course you want to play well, but there’s only room on the floor for five people who can play for Dallas. If the fans want to switch places, then let them vote. They have years of work ahead of them, to become good enough to play at this level,” Irving added.
The next game, the Mavericks will play against the same opponent, only this time they will travel to North Carolina. The match starts on Sunday at 19:00 our time.